When a relationship breaks down, but the couple want to work together to resolve matters with the least amount of emotional distress, working with collaborative lawyers is a way to achieve an outcome that works for everyone.

Collaborative law is not about winning or losing, but achieving a fair deal for the whole family.  It is ideal for people who are focused on continuing family relationships, which can be especially important when they have children or other ties in common.

The collaborative process involves a series of four-way meetings between both parties and their collaborative lawyers where they work together to reach agreement on a fair outcome for everyone.

The first step is to sign a participation agreement where both lawyers agree not to take the case  to court – other than for sending the agreed terms for approval.  This means there is no fighting over who gets how much or one partner trying to extract as much money as possible with the maximum amount of pain.  A collaborative setting is positive and focused on the future.  The emphasis is on fairness for all parties and looking at the big picture and its long-term impact.

The success of the process depends on both parties being completely transparent about all aspects of their assets and willing to be fair, rather than combatant.  There needs to be a willingness to be flexible and a desire to achieve a good outcome for both partners.  Sitting face-to-face is powerful and collaboration can even work in more difficult cases.

Where required, other specialists, such as a family therapist, an independent financial or pensions advisor, can be brought into meetings to resolve specific issues and allow the process to move on.

All communication between lawyers is done by telephone and in the meetings.  This means that there are no nasty letters and emotional trauma and bitterness are all minimised.

Collaborative solicitors are highly committed to gaining a successful outcome as if that cannot be achieved, they cannot represent their client if the case, subsequently, goes to court.

Collaborative law is a much more cost-effective solution than court proceedings and much quicker.  Most solicitors will be willing to discuss a fixed fee too, so both parties know where they stand.

Our Collaborative Solicitors are Hannah Kelly (Billericay office) and Vicky Robertson (Danbury office).  If you’d like to find out more about this solution, please get in touch.