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Collaborative Law

The ending of a marriage is usually fraught with difficulties, particularly at a time when emotions are running high. If you are seeking to divorce or separate without proceeding down the traditional route of going to court then our collaborative law solicitor may be able to help you.

Traditionally, when a relationship breaks down, each person will take independent advice from a specialist family lawyer and, through their lawyers, attempt to reach agreement on how best to settle their differences.  If they are unable to do so, it is left to the Family Courts to decide which can cause uncertainty and conflict.

Collaborative Law enables each person, with their lawyers present, to have face-to-face meetings in order to resolve the issues.

What is Collaborative Law..?

Collaborative law is a fairly recent approach towards divorce.  Collaborative Family Law is a process where each person appoints their own lawyer and all have a shared commitment to avoid litigation.  Rather than conducting negotiations by letter or by telephone, the process primarily involves informal discussions and joint meetings between the parties and their lawyers with a view to agreeing all issues.  Deciding upon a collaborative law separation requires the agreement of both parties and their respective solicitors, in writing, not to go to Court. This formal agreement is usually signed at the first collaborative law meeting, with all four parties present.

It is important to note that both parties solicitors must be trained collaborative law solicitors in order to pursue a collaborative law separation. If one party’s solicitor is not a collaborative law solicitor then they must instruct a new, collaborative law solicitor. If the party in question refuses to change solicitors then a collaborative law separation is not possible.

Collaborative law means both parties meet over several occasions, accompanied by their solicitors, in order to negotiate an out of Court a settlement of their marital affairs – including financial arrangements. A collaborative law separation can usually take place quicker than Court proceedings but does rely upon the commitment of both parties to communicate and be prepared to listen to the advice of their solicitors in order to avoid the process from stalling. Ultimately, a collaborative law separation is usually the faster and more cost-effective option.

What is the Collaborative Law Process?

The collaborative process is a voluntary one and, to enable it to work, there must be:

  • A genuine desire for each person to make it work.
  • A willingness to disclose, fully and honestly, information about all assets in matters concerning property and finance.
  • Each person must have a collaboratively trained lawyer working for them.
  • An agreement must be signed by each party and their lawyers to reach a solution without going to Court.

The benefits of Collaborative Law are:

  • You each have your own independent legal advisor.
  • You are in control without the prospect of Court proceedings hanging over you.
  • You set the agenda and talk about the things that matter most to you and your family.
  • You set the pace and you are not governed by Court dates and appearances.
  • You maintain contact with your former partner which gives you the best chance of understanding each other and finding the right solutions.
  • If children are involved, you will both remain parents and it will help your children to cope better with the separation if they see that you are working things out together.
  • Most importantly, the key decisions you make about your future are yours.  They are not made in a courtroom.

Collaborative lawyers sign an agreement with you that disqualifies them from representing you in Court if the collaborative process breaks down.  That means they are absolutely committed to helping you find the best solution by agreement, rather than through conflict.

How Shepherd Harris & Co Collaborative Law solicitors in Enfield can help…

Our collaborative law solicitors can use all of their experience in obtaining the best solution for you. As accredited members of Resolution, we offer:

  • Access to a divorce process that is as non-confrontational, swift and amicable as possible – we work to the Resolution Code of Practice.
  • Highly qualified collaborative law solicitors – years of combined experience within the field of successful collaborative law settlements.
  • Cost effective and transparent fees for our collaborative law services – allowing you to budget during this stressful time.

Next steps…

Shepherd Harris & Co solicitors in Enfield is proud of its very experienced family team.

Please contact our collaborative law specialist, Tazeen Khaliq (tel: 020 8363 8341), who is a collaboratively trained lawyer through Resolution and is on both the Resolution and Family Law Advanced Panels.  We will be pleased to assist you in choosing the right legal course of action for your circumstances.

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