Collaborative Law

Collaborative law is an alternative to using the court to resolve the financial aspect of any divorce or separation. It can also be used to agree arrangements for children.

In the collaborative process, the couple both instruct separate collaboratively trained solicitors. The solicitors have been specially trained in collaborative negotiation techniques. The solicitors and their clients all sign up to the collaborative process by entering into a Participation Agreement which commits them to working together in a cooperative and collaborative way to find a solution that works for both parties and, if they have children, that works for them too. Most importantly, it commits them to not going to court.

The collaborative process involves series of meetings known as “four ways”. Discussions in these meetings are relatively informal, although they are structured and we do work through an agenda. Most importantly, these meetings avoid the conflict and position-taking that traditional negotiations sometimes involve.

If necessary, we can ask other professionals to take part in these meetings; for example, in a case involving complex financial issues, we can invite an accountant or independent financial adviser to be present.

Collaborative law has many advantages over going to court:

  • It is usually much cheaper than litigating through the court.
  • It can be much faster than court proceedings.
  • It allows you to keep control over the outcome, rather than placing it in the hands of the judge.
  • It enables you to come up with more imaginative solutions than the limited range of things that the court can impose.
  • It allows you an opportunity to discuss issues which a court may consider trivial and unworthy of court time, but which are important to you.
  • It helps you to maintain your ability to communicate with your ex, whereas going to court usually destroys it.
  • It ensures that at the end of the process, you both are able to feel that fairness has been achieved.

Jon Armstrong has conducted a large number of collaborative cases since training as a collaborative lawyer in 2006. If you would like to find out more about the collaborative process, please contact him on (01206) 848426 or click here.

Jon offers a free initial information session where you can find out more about the collaborative process.

Resolution’s leaflet about collaborative law can be downloaded here.

For more information about collaborative law, please visit the Resolution website or the Collaborative Lawyers Colchester website.

Find out more about the collaborative process by watching this short video:

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Still not sure that the collaborative process is right for you? Consider mediation instead.

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