Like family mediation, collaborative law aims to provide a process that avoids court proceedings. It does require an even firmer commitment to avoiding the courts, with a ‘no court’ agreement being signed at the beginning of the process. This ensures that all parties, including the legal representatives are fully committed to trying to resolve matters without going to court. Meetings are attended by both parties and their lawyers, who must be specially-trained collaborative lawyers.
How the Collaborative Law process works:
Both parties meet with their respective lawyers to discuss whether or not the collaborative process is suitable for your situation. In the event that it is:
- Each party prepares for the first "four way" meeting, which is where both parties and their solicitors meet to try and resolve matters. Preparations include starting to collate the necessary financial information required:
- First meetings: at the first meeting the parties and the legal representatives all sign an agreement to engage in the collaborative process; discuss each others main objectives; agree the exchange of financial disclose and plan what will be discussed at the next meetings;
- Further meetings: the process takes as long as necessary but usually carries on for three or four meetings until a final agreement is reached; and
- Finalisation: At the final meeting the agreement reached will be signed and a plan discussed as to how matters will progress thereafter (e.g. filing a Consent Order with the Court if appropriate, timetable for implementation of agreement).
The collaborative process requires co-operation and compromise on both sides and we can assist by advising you as matters progress to ensure the best outcome for you is achieved.
Our family solicitors are members of The Best Divorce Options Group. The group was created by solicitors from some of the main firms in Peterborough to offer a fresh approach, transforming the separation process for a couple and their children bringing positive benefits both financially and emotionally.
We are mindful that legal costs can be a burden but the collaborative process is often a lot less expensive than court proceedings and we will provide you with an outcome that you have agreed to rather than one opposed upon you.
If you require further help and advice and would like to discuss further how Hunt & Coombs can help you with the collaborative law process or any other area of family law please contact our Family Team by:
Email or call 01733 882800.