Thanks for including a thread on this new,and as yet underutilised dispute resolution model. Those of you who have gone through the process will realise that it is a cost effective and family friendly alternative to the traditional divorce process.
The collaborative model was developed in North America in the early 1990s by a group of family lawyers whose experience with traditional divorce led them to the conclusion that litigation hurts families and especially children. They were certain that they could develop a healthier way to help families through the trauma of divorce and relationship breakdown and make their longterm future communications (eg about matters concerning the children/review of maintenance etc) much better.
In collaborative divorce, couples who have decided to end their marriage work with a team of professionals to avoid the arbitrary and uncertain outcome of Court and to achieve a settlement that best meets the specific needs of both parties and their children. Collaborative practice focuses on settlement, and addresses communication dynamics. It offers a more healthy and effective forum for the resolution of the couplesâ€™ issues. The goal of collaborative law is to help the couple to resolve all matters arising out of their separation in a dignified and respectful way for the benefit of the whole family and to give them a better communication base for resolving any other issues which may arise in the future.
At the outset, the couple and their lawyers will sign an agreement (the Participation Agreement) not to commence contested Court proceedings in setting out the wider objectives in the process.
I hope that this helps. Have any of you any recent experience of the process?
There doesnt seem to be a lot happening in this forum does there? So I will have my twopennth worth as is usual!
I think the reason no one comes in here to post anything on this Collaborative Law is.....................we are all past that stage of "lets sit round a table and have a nice little chat!" Most people on here are at the stage of OMG!!!!! What shedevil or horned beast did I marry, I must of had a screw loose! Why or whats happened to make my ex2b or ex partner such a greedy, foul, manipulative man or woman beast?
Or could it be when you first go to see a solicitor? Mention you want to go the collaborative route and the solicitor sees the £ signs dissappear before their eyes! Awww if you go that route I wont be able to holiday for 4 weeks in Barbados sipping champagne this year, it will only be 2 weeks instead!
Yep I wonder why collabarative law isn't mentioned much either!
Collaborative law isn't that cheap. It's cheaper than going to court but not cheaper than mediation, for example. There are quite a few meetings and the solicitors attend all of them. In some cases you also have people like financial advisers making reports to both of you.
Some solicitors specialise in collaborative law. They have to have a special training to do this and not all that many are trained in the UK yet. So most solicitors just can't offer it. I don't know if you can get legal aid for it, either.
1 Mediation _ you overlook the fact that mediators are unable to give legal advice and that any mediated agreement needs to be finalised bt solicitors. In other words mediation can give rise to another layer of costs. Mediation can vbe great for child disputes the formulation of parenting plans etc it is rarely suitable for cases where the finances are relatively complex.
2 Cost- the collaborative process is client driven. It can help to limit costs.
Sadie, over 1000 lawyers are trained in collaborative law. Its not for everyone but in cases where there is some residual goodwill between the parties it is often the answer.
Louise, you are right, if a couple are stupid enough to see the divorce process as a way of giving the other a bloody nase the collaborative process is not for them. If on the otherhand they are mature enough to want to preserve family relationships and still have the benefit of legal advice, collaborative law may be the answer.
As for solicitors costs, family lawyers are rarely well paid (if money was their goal they would become commercial lawyers). If you look at the recruitment pages of the Law Society Gazette etc you will see that they generally earn less than other professionals such as doctors etc.
The no court ethos of collaborative law is hardly designed to run up fees!
Thanks for explaining this. (It'll be my next step, if Mediation fails). One quick question: I thought it was a process where one solicitor acted for BOTH parties? (Like mediation, but with the legal advise)? Am I wrong in thinking that?