Divorce through the Courts: is there another way?

3 June 2020

Relationship breakdown can be an enormously stressful and worrying experience and the legal system needs to recognise that and provide couples with a process which minimises that stress for all concerned, including any children, and which enables them to identify workable and practical solutions.

'Collaborative Practice' achieves precisely that.

It provides couples with a real opportunity to find the right solution for them and their family.

This is accomplished through meetings with their respective solicitors and others who can provide support and advice whenever needed.

Uniquely, Collaborative Practice recognises that, more than often than not, there will be important emotional issues that need to be dealt with as well as legal ones. Sometimes those emotional issues, hurt, anger and worry about what the future will bring or even prevent finding the best solution until they are recognised and resolved.

Therefore, as well as having your own experienced family lawyer, the collaborative process includes a family consultant, whose role it is to help clients manage those emotional challenges. Family consultants provide emotional and practical support, making use of their training and experience as counsellors and therapists.

They work as part of a team with the clients and the lawyers, and all of the team are trained and qualified collaborative practitioners.

Clients agree that they will reach agreement without going to Court. They accept that if either one or both of them do decide to go to Court, the collaborative process comes to an end and each party will need to appoint new lawyers. That said the collaborative process has a high degree of success.

The collaboratively trained lawyers advise and help clients prepare and the process involves a series of meetings where informed discussions take place, involving the lawyers, perhaps the family consultant and others who may be able to help, such as financial advisers, pension experts and accountants, as well as specially trained mediators who can speak to children directly if their parents agree to find out how they are coping and what they are thinking and feed that back.

The advantages of the collaborative process are:

  • Our clients are central to the decision making process. They own it.
  • Collaboration respects our clients' autonomy and they have ultimate and overall control.
  • There is total transparency. Nothing is hidden.
  • The focus is on what really matters to the clients concerned and any children they may have.
  • Flexibility, in timing, pace, and venues.
  • No delays.
  • It encourages finding inventive solutions.
  • Respect for each other and listening to each other are fundamental
  • It is far less threatening than the Court process.
  • It does away with the need for aggressive and expensive letters and emails between lawyers.
  • Most of all an agreement reached is one which the clients themselves have helped to create and is not one imposed upon them by a total stranger.

Collaborative Practice can help married couples, those in civil partnership and those are just living together. It is ideally suited to resolving financial issues and arrangement for children. It is equally an excellent way to resolve the terms of pre and post nuptial agreements.

With the Courts overwhelmed and many not functioning fully there may not be a better time to consider what Collaborative Practice has to offer.

We are now able to offer Collaborative Practice online by video link and are one of the first Firms in the Country to do so. 

We are still able to undertake Collaborative work in meetings at our offices or the offices of other lawyers and that will continue to be available. 

Collaborative Practice by video link has numerous advantages, including convenience for our Clients and also saving money in travelling and waiting time.

For further information please contact us using the enquiry form.

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