Hi, I am considering trying to steer my imminent separation down the 'collaborative law' route in order to get a Consent Order drafted (after agreeing things in principal with my wife prior to the collaborative meetings) and ratified prior to walking out the door and arranging to buy a new home.
The collaborative option is supposed to be quick, less stressful and more cost effective than the traditional approach to divorce, but someone with experience of these things has suggested to me that it "takes forever and costs a fortune". Does anyone else have any 'collaborative' experiences that they would care to share please - good or bad?
Collab has cost me 6K and my wife 5k and we are still poles apart. She has sacked her lawyer and now wants go down the traditional route.
My advice is that you both need to be sure you want to collab as otherwise its pointless. My wife cant/wont and just wants a big list. She doesn't understand the concept that its about both of you having equality for the children. As a result after our 3rd meeting when the form E's came out and they put forward their idea of what was required we tripped.
They came up with an 80/20 split (inc lumpsum cushion) so she was mortgage free, child maint plus spousal maint plus a possible share on existing pension contributions.
her form E was inflated and they reneged on the agreement to look at her getting a mortgage. That was pushed back as being impossible.
My sol is a good guy, hers needs shooting, she fed of my wifes insecurities and we are now faced with more cost and back to square one.
It depends how your relationship is. My wife wanted a divorce and me to move out. So I made preps to move out and went shopping for my new life. She expected me to live like a monk until we were divorced and I said no. So we got off on the wrong foot and she thinks I was trying to rip her off. I wasnt I was just buying some things for a new life in a rented 2 bed flat unfurnished.
If your stbx is uncertain or reluctant then you may find it tough to steer. Try and get an idea of what her objectives are. Communicate if you can. Is she financially competent? My wife isnt and hasnt needed to be until now. Its a culture shock and she is terrified.
My wife earns as much as I do and we have roughly the same value of assets. The separation was her idea ("I think we should separate") and after a shell-shocked period of realistic contemplation I agreed. She has now changed her mind but I haven't! So time will tell in the coming weeks as to how cooperative we can be. The crazy thing is, if she hadn't mentioned it then I wouldn't have considered it. I agreed with her and started the ball rolling, and now it's all my fault. Typical!
The thing is, I'm not moving out of the house without a Separation Agreement whereby we have both had legal advice (to ensure that it has the best chance of not being overturned later in the day), but I can't help thinking that we'd both be better off without any lawyers at all
Sounds like you have the basis for some common ground though. At least if you are on an equal footing financially then you have a half chance with spousal maint etc. What about the house. Any children ? Try to agree as much as possible though before the wolves come in. Long term though what do you think the outcome will be? separation then div or a long trem sep? Most lawyeres will advice if a div is to follow not to bother with the separation.