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Is Collaborative Law suitable for me?

  • Collaborativelawyer
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16 Sep 2009 16:35 #146946 by Collaborativelawyer
Topic posted by Collaborativelawyer
Collaborative Law is not necessarily the best choice for every client. It is worth considering whether some or all of the following are true for you:

• You both want a civilised, respectful resolution of the issues.

• You would both like to keep open the possibility of friendship with your partner down the road.

• You and your partner will be co-parenting children together and you want the best co-parenting relationship possible.

• You want to protect your children from the aggravation associated with a litigated court application between parents

• You and your partner have a circle of friends or extended family in common that you both want to remain connected to.

• You have ethical or spiritual beliefs that place high value on taking personal responsibility for handling conflicts with integrity.

• You value control and autonomous decision making and do not want to hand over decisions about restructuring your financial and/or child-rearing arrangements to a Judge.


• You place as much or more value on the relationships that will exist in your restructured family situation as you place on obtaining the maximum possible amount of money for yourself.

• You understand that conflict resolution with integrity involves not only achieving your own goals but finding a way to achieve the reasonable goals of the other person.

• You and your spouse will commit your intelligence and energy toward creative problem solving rather than toward recriminations or revenge – fixing the problem rather than fixing blame.

  • moonstar04
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16 Sep 2009 19:51 #147005 by moonstar04
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Could you clarify approx costs for collaborative law average case??

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16 Sep 2009 20:23 #147012 by Collaborativelawyer
Reply from Collaborativelawyer
That would depend on your solicitor's hourly rate to some extent, but consider the following as a guideline.

Each round table meeting would have a certain amount of preparation work both before and after the meeting itself.

My financial collaborative law meetings are normally in the 1.5 to 2 hour bracket. There could be other preparatory discussions, writing up minutes and the like of a similar duration.

Most of my cases resolve themselves within 2-4 sessions giving you the following maths;

Up to 4 hours @ say up to £200 per hour = up to £800 plus VAT, = £920, times 4 meetings = £3680.

A cost estimate therefore of £3-5,000 on an average financial case would be appropriate.

There could be additional fees in the event of requiring expert assistance on valuing assets, pensions, or if it the clients wanted to bring in more therapeutic support to the process.

Hope that gives some guidance.

Personally I do not say that the Collaborative process will be cheaper than conventional, but it would certainly not be any more costly.

The emotional cost would be far lower.

  • mzz
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16 Sep 2009 22:09 #147046 by mzz
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Personally I do not say that the Collaborative process will be cheaper than conventional, but it would certainly not be any more costly.

The emotional cost would be far lower.[/quote]

I've been meaning to post for ages on this. My ex-husband and I divorced via collaborative law. I think that's a main contributor to the way we can still talk to each other.

My pointers would be:
- if you can still sit down and talk to each other then do seriously think about this as a route. If you can't bear to be in the same room then it may not be for you.
- it was really powerful in keeping us focused on what was important: we have two wonderful - arguably grown up- daughters and even if they are 'adults' we still care about them and how we divorced was probably just as important as how we had been their parents for so long.
- it's not a soft option. Certainly the way it worked for us was that if either of us - having committed to the process- had thrown our toys out of the pram and done the 'taking you to court' route, then we would have had to start again - our collaborative law solicitors wouldn't have represented us and we'd have had to go back to square one - excellent way of focusing on a 'win:win'.
- it wasn't cheap!: i think the costs were pretty much as outlined in your post - but at leadt it felt as if we were paying for expertise. Our solicitors' time was largely spent with us sitting round a table rather than on exchanging snotty letters to little [and expensive] effect.
- if you think this might be an option, then you both need to find collaborative lawyers who are prepared to do it this say - takes 2 [or in this case probably 4] to tango.
- the timescale is yours, together, not the court's

I found out about collaborative law by accident. I'm so glad I did. I looked at the conventional routes and thought that even if we weren't adversarial at the beginning, by the time we got into an adversarial legal system we'd be a damned sight more than likely to hate each other at the end. So we didn't and we don't.

My own experience has been reinforced by my new partner's. Because of the starting point this was never going to be an option for him so we've spent a fortune on pretty mediocre service from solicitors who seem to me to be just expensive and not very efficient administrators.

I so hope i will never ever go through divorce again because it's horrible - but at least this time I don't feel damaged by the process itself.


Mzz

  • ericwilliam
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19 Mar 2010 10:59 #192801 by ericwilliam
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No single approach is right for everyone. Many couples do find the no-court process known as Collaborative Practice (Collaborative Law/Collaborative Divorce) a welcome alternative to the often destructive, uncomfortable aspects of conventional divorce.

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