I'd really like some help please. I am really interested in the Collaborative Law route as I want to maintain a good realtionship with my (ex)wife going forward for the sake of our 2 children - she tells me she wants the same.
But I have one question that I am struggling to find the answer to. I'm not clear whether the Collorative process means that you then don't have to adopt one of the 5 reasons for divorce at the end. So, you work out the financials, childcare etc and then itit's done or you do that and then you have to agree on legal route of adultery, unreasonable behaviour or separation? If it is the former that would be great, if it's the later then what will I/we gain from the CL process that we could do ourselves?
I would REALLY appreciate someone answing the above telling me what pops out at the end of the CL process.
2. sorting out the finances and the childrens arragements.
The divorce is dealt with via the courts and has to go thru specific steps and stages. You must give reasons for the end or breakdown of the marriage and you will need to cite one of hte 5 reasons.
Its basically a lot of paperwork, it normally costs about 500-700 worth of solicitors fees to file on your behalf.
Some people use solicitors for this, some dont. Its the same process for each so if you are amicable with your ex its possible to just use solicitors/mediation/collabritive law for the finances and the children.
The dissolution of the marriage goes like this
One of you fills out the Petition and sends it to court citing the 'reason'
the court looks it over and sends it to the other party.
they return an 'acknowlegement of service' to the court and either agree to the grounds (admit adultery, agree been apart 2 years, agree to the UB etc)
Then you get a copy of this, take it to the court house, swear an affadavit saying the signatures are both yours and the courts if happy will announce the Decree Nisi a few weeks later.
Now you are past the first step of divorce and the courts will allow it to proceed.
Most people do all the sorting out of money/children now. You can agree between you, use sols, go to mediation etc and whatever you agree needs to be written up into a formal consent order.
You then take the agreed order to court and ask them to seal it as legally binding. If it appears just then a judge will normally sign it off. If it appears tilted or more towards one party for no apparent reason then you might be called in for a short hearing. Once this is sealed it becomes binding.
Then 6 weeks and one day after the Nisi is announced you can apply for the Decree Absolute which means you are legally divorced and the consent order kicks in.
Now this is how it normally works if everything and everyone is agreeable.
If you cant agree then one of you might have to apply to the courts for Ancillary Relief, this means thatyou ask the courts to make a decision about the finances. This is a lengthy process which can cost tens of thousands if you involve solicitors.
With collabritive law, you two basically have mediation meetings but with sols present for advice. This is comforting for a lot of people. However, if you cant agree then one of the stipulations is that you ahve to instruct new solicitors if you proceed to court so can actually end up costing more in the long run.
I would, if you are amicable, attempt mediation as a first go to see if you two are able to discuss things and reach at least big decisions like childcare and the house..if you can agree on those things then you are onto a winner for probably most else.
Then both go away and seek some independent legal advice on your own to make sure that you both are getting an ok deal.