Sera, I'm afraid you are mistaken. You each have your own solicitor to look after your interests, but the important thing is that they work together to resolve the case, not against each other.
I am actually much in favour of collaborative law, and deliberately chose a collaboratively trained solicitor. My husband doesn't trust me enough to do it, however, so we are presumably going to be fighting instead.
I may be wrong but I think collaborative law is where both parties and their respective solicitors get together to talk things through (but is mostly the solicitors doing the talking). I believe this is known as a Round Table Meeting. However, what you have raised sounds familiar and in actual fact I think would be a brilliant way to resolve the more simplest of cases and especially where there is little equity that could get eaten up in legal fees and court hearings when going down the normal route.
Just imagine it, the solicitor would be on neither parties side which in turn may prompt the couple to actually talk to each other. Also neither one of them would be in a position to twist that solicitor round to their way of thinking. Hopefully the solicitor would remain completely detached from both but would be there to give them the legal advice they need openly so that neither one of them would feel the solicitor was on any particular side.
I don't know if I have explained this as well as I would like because it is late and I am tired but I have thought about this a lot recently and if it isn't already happening I reckon it would be a brilliant way to resolve issues openly between couples without being charged 20 quid+ for fairly irrelavent letters going back and forth between solicitors causing the more simple cases not to have to go down a long expensive,lengthy and very unecessary road to resolution. There would only be one solicitors fee and nothing would be hidden all the facts would be on the table and could hopefully be resolved in 3 to 4 meetings!
I know there are probably flaws in this idea (mostly that it aint makin the legal firm very much money but hey it would be resolved quicker so on to the next couple!) I am sure the more legal minded on here will correct me on this but then isn't that why are all here? Not just to resolve our own issues but possibly come up with better ways to resolve the future of our antiquated divorce laws in the UK???
Sera, both parties are independently represented. Check out one of the collaborative websites.
mediation often fails because of the lack of legal advice, the mediated agreement can unravel when both parties take it to solicitors for advice/implementation.Collaboration may be right for you if you ex will agree to it and if there is a bit of goodwill between you.
Sadie...love them or loath them family solicitors are subjected to an ongoing training regime...otherwise they can't renew their prectising certificate.
Freud would be interested in your case...you seem to have transfered your resentment towards your ex on to the legal profession in general.Sure there are bad solicitors, there are crap doctors etc but the majority simply try and do their best.
Thanks for this advice everyone.... trouble is, we're misled into believing that solicitors know the law, BUT in divorce, there are no 'laws', (some vague rules) and we're left wandering from one professional to the next, not knowing what to do.
My ex went to a solicitor, she 'ordered' me out of the house. I was scared, (rightly so!), so in desperation, I paid for legal advice, and learnt that she couldn't 'order' me to do anything! His sol then said that if I didn't leave 'voluntarilly' - a big, harsh judge would order me out... (again - panic!) So, I paid almost £600 for sol to register my matrimonial home Rights.
After two months of him fighting, (and throwing bucket loads of wonga on his sols advice that stood for nothing), and me, defending his actions, leaves our marital pot smaller two months on.
Now, I'm still in the home, all his might and money and intimidation hasn't budged me... and now we'll try mediation.
I had expected from their enormous fees, (taking £180.00 per hour to sit in a chair refereeing is not what I had in mind!), so not sure mediation's going to work.
Even if he agrees (at the meetings) I doubt his sol will allow him to sign the agreement. I expect this to run to full hearing, simply because he's mis-advised, earns good money, and the sol wants to line her pockets!
Someone needs to tell my ex, he has to recognise my contributions and consider them... which he won't!
I start mediation tomorrow, I'll be extremely upset (and I'll voice my opinion) if I'm paying a legal voyeur to sit there contributing nothing!!!!
I wouldn't pay a plumber to come and sit and watch my taps leaking. I expected legal advice and guidence, yet now I'm feeling like it's just another middle-man to take a cut.
Londongreek, it's not me who is against solicitors, it's Louise. I am pretty satisfied with my solicitor so far, and reckon I am paying for her expertise.
Sera, if you are doing mediation rather than collaborative law you probably don't have a legally trained mediator, unless you have gone out of your way to get that. This is one of the main differences between mediation and collaborative law. Outcomes of mediation can be overturned either by a court because one or both of you agreed without legal advice, or because when you go back to your solicitors one of them says you or your ex should never have agreed those terms to it all gets contested again.
The thing about collaborative law is judges don't generally question the outcome as it is clear you have both had legal advice. Also if one of you wants to give it up and start fighting they have to use a different solicitor as part of the initial agreement is that if it goes wrong you have to start again with new solicitors, a very expensive option.
For both these reasons I personally would go for collaborative law rather than mediation, though if the latter works it is probably a bit cheaper. The risk of it not working is greater, though.