Collaborative divorce is a process in which both parties sign up to a participation agreement confirming that they will deal with matters through open and direct negotiation without making an application to the Court. It is different to mediation as whilst a mediator is neutral and so cannot give either party legal advice, in collaborative family law you each have your own lawyer advising you and negotiating on your behalf.
A series of meetings takes place, attended by both parties and their legal representatives, where all issues can be discussed and negotiated. The same requirement to provide full financial disclosure exists within this process.
Collaborative law can be used to resolve disputes in relation to financial matters or in relation to children, such as where they will live and spend time. It can be effective where parents wish to reach a resolution by agreement, with the children’s interests and needs being the priority.
If necessary, collaborative law experts can be instructed to advise both parties about issues such as tax, property valuations and pensions and the experts can be invited to attend the group meetings.
Relationship breakdown will always inevitably involve financial and emotional costs. The aim of collaborative family law is to help minimise those costs.
Our Collaborative Lawyers
There are four trained collaborative lawyers within our Family team, Joanna Pratt, Kirstie Law, Desmond O'Donnell and Helen Waite. We will discuss with you at your initial consultation whether your case is appropriate for collaborative law.
Not every case is suitable; both parties must be committed to resolving their issues through negotiation without the involvement of the Court.
For further information please contact one of the Family team.
We acted for a client with regard to their divorce and financial proceedings through collaborative law. Most of the parties’ assets were held in limited companies to which either or both of the parties were shareholders. The parties were clear that the company assets should not be sold as a result of the divorce and they hoped to sell the assets for a profit at a later date. Through negotiations, the parties were able to agree on a division of the company assets whilst preserving their shareholdings in the companies. The parties sought financial advice to inform them on the effect of the division or restructuring of each company and this advice underpinned the agreement.