Collaborative Separation and Divorce
What is Collaborative Separation and Divorce?
In The Collaborative Process: GROWing Apart Successfully, there is a common goal to discuss, negotiate and resolve arrangements for the future for the benefit of the whole family, working with your former Partner and the two Collaborative Lawyers to find a solution in an open and creative way.
The Collaborative Lawyers use their family law, collaborative law, management, mediation and practical skills to help you understand, evaluate, discuss, listen and find solutions whilst providing you with legal advice, information, support and referral to other professional advice.
Once agreement is reached the legal framework can be completed by the Collaborative Lawyers, with separation or divorce and agreements or orders, providing you with a seamless integrated process.
How does it Work?
When the couple decide to work together to achieve a Collaborative Separation or Divorce, the Collaborative Participation Agreement is signed by the couple and the Collaborative Lawyers. Everyone agrees to work together respectfully, honestly and in good faith to find solutions for the benefit of the whole family and to reach a fair negotiated agreement.
If the Collaborative Process comes to an end neither of the Collaborative Lawyers may continue to act for either Partner in family court proceedings. This keeps the discussions in a safe and creative environment as well as focussing on settlement.
Work is done together in a series of “Four Way Meetings” with the couple and their Collaborative Lawyers.
To assist progress in the meetings there are preparatory meetings between each Partner and their Collaborative Lawyer and between the Collaborative Lawyers. This means that the emotional impact of the views of the couple can be largely worked through in the privacy of their own Collaborative Lawyer meetings or with the help of a Family Consultant to minimise the impact on the Four Way Meetings, making impasse less likely as an obstacle to a solution being found.
Once the financial information is available we can discuss possible solutions and test how these work for all those involved, now and in the foreseeable future. Preferences will develop and compromises will be made to reach an agreement. The couple are encouraged to consider the needs of the family as a whole in “Interests Based” rather than “Position Based” negotiations.
The aim is to achieve an agreement which is as good as it can be for all family members, finding creative solutions at a pace chosen by the couple about things that are important to the them, meeting common goals, rather than the narrow issues that the Court can address within a long and expensive process, over which you have little control.
Resolving issues in the Collaborative Process will assist the couple to maintain and improve communications and relationships with each other and your children, making co-parenting and continued support easier for the future.
Who can use the Collaborative Process?
The Collaborative Process can be used to resolve parenting and financial issues in divorce, separation, and dissolution of civil partnerships and for pre and post marital and civil partnership agreements.
The Collaborative Process can also be used in probate disputes, business dissolutions, employment and commercial disputes – any situation where people want to sort things out focusing on the solutions in a contained, supported, civilized process that builds in legal advice and distributes the risk of failure to the solicitors as well as the participants.
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