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your experiences of collaborative law

  • bagpuss11
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29 Jan 2009 18:03 #84011 by bagpuss11
Topic posted by bagpuss11
Hi all
I'm feeling distinctly bullied by my husband that this approach is the best way to achieve a divorce - his idea, not mine. I agree that it is probably the cheapest option but I feel he's rushing things too much. There are lots of other things going on as well and I'm not sure I'm thinking straight enough to just go along with the flow so to speak. How has everyone else's experiences been??
Thanks and confused!

  • D L
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29 Jan 2009 18:21 #84016 by D L
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Hi there

2 things....

1. Collab is no cheaper - you each need a solicitor who charges at their standard rate.

2. You mention you already feel bullied - there has to be a strong desire on each side to work through the collab process...if one feels bullied, it tends not to work.

And the final thing - dont enter into it unless you are very sure, as if it fails, you have to change lawyers and start all over again on a different path.

An alternative for you is solicitor and mediation combined, or just a normal sol negotiating for you, who can keep the case if negotiation fails and stay with you through the court process.

Do think about your options here.

Amanda

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29 Jan 2009 18:29 #84022 by bagpuss11
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Thanks Amanda
I'll bear your advice in mind. I'm on a limited budget so cost is going to be an important factor and I really don't want to ahve to try and find another solcitor if things all go pear shaped....I guess I need to do a bit more stalling while I try to work out what I want!

  • bats
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29 Jan 2009 20:27 #84074 by bats
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We sort of did collaborative law. I say sort of as we never signed up. Therefore if it all fell down we could still keep our solicitors. It was all done, 'without prejudice'. This means i believe, if we ended up in court they couldn't use that information. We have sorted it all and Decree Absolute should be through in a week or so.
It wasn't cheap, partly because I used an expensive solicitor, don't know what my ex's costs were.
My solicitor kept assuring me in time I would realise I got a good deal. Complicated, and in my honest opinion (MHO), unfair due to my receipt of a large inheritance. Ex still to receive hers, it will be large also but I won't be entitled to any. But it is done now and that is pretty much what I wanted. To get it sorted.
In fairness I probably bullied my ex into proceeding as she would have waited for two years but I needed to sort the finances out because of my business which my wife was involved in.She understood, collaborated, and agreed to proceed.
Probably too much info but feel free to PM me or ask questions here and I will happily answer them if I can.
PS obviously doing it this way I can't say whether it was better or not than any other but think it worked ok for us.

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30 Jan 2009 01:53 #84149 by Fiona
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It seems there are two issues here;

1) your need of some time to come to terms with what is happening

You could try persuading your husband to allow you some time because it often results in substantial and quicker progress being made when someone is ready to accept the necessity of obtaining information and make good decisions about the issues which need to be resolved. The suggested appeal for patience doesn't need to depend on compassion, a stronger motivating factor may be the financial cost-effectiveness of moving ahead with genuine progress.


2) whether or not to use collaborative law

Collaborative law isn't for everyone, it's intended for those couples who wish to find solutions in a non confrontational way which will work for everyone concerned. Each party has a lawyer trained in collaborative law and they all work together to discuss the terms of the separation which are tailored to suit their priorities and needs. Many people prefer having the own lawyer on the spot to advise as opposed to mediation when they can feel in the dark as far as the law is concerned. The aim of collaborative law is to provide an effective way of resolving issues in a fashion that does the least damage to long term family relationships. One feature is it is possible to involve other professionals such as counsellors, financial advisor or accountants in the process. The difference between collaborative law and the traditional approach being that everyone involved in process agrees not to go to court and should that happen both lawyers are disqualified from any further involvement.

Because the negotiation involves two lawyers it is no cheaper than conventional solicitor negotiations, although expensive court hearings are avoided. The disadvantage is if collaborative law fails you then need to go the expense of hiring new lawyers and starting again. Having said that you should at least have an idea what can be agreed, what might be agreed and what the outstanding issues are. One advantage is in England & Wales solicitors who have successfully negotiated collaborative agreements with couples will be able to get them fast tracked through the courts, subject to the consent of the urgent application judge. The procedure can only be used where every aspect of the documentation is agreed, the hearing isn't expected to last for more than ten minutes and documents are with the judge the night before the hearing.

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