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experience of collaborative law

  • gowergirl
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27 Aug 08 #43332 by gowergirl
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Hi, I looked especially for a solicitor doing collaborative law, and we also tried mediation. Trouble is stbx doesnt actually agree with the law as it stands and is so keen that I get very little, that its a bit of a waste of time, and I have ended up applying to court anyway. Stbx STILL talking about sorting it before the court date (looming quickly) but wont offer anything like a fair settlement, he's obsessed that I might be awarded the house, which is likely as we have 2 children still in school here, and I can afford the mortgage- just. He has lots of pension provision, and another house which Im happy for him to have both of those without interference. His comments to me last night were 'Im so furious that you might get this house Im prepared to bankrupt myself to prevent it'. So what happens to our children then? For him its all about having the penny AND the bun, to punish me for calling time... and he wonders why.....

  • Athlete
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31 Aug 08 #44276 by Athlete
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My husband earns a lot more than me, and has set up a couple of businesses too. The solicitor thinks that it would be better for me to go the court route as our finances look complicated. Does collaborative law only work if things a fairly simple?

  • pgc123
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20 Sep 08 #49949 by pgc123
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Unless you are both really Ok with settling the whole thing and both actively prepared to work to reasonable timescales my piece of advice would be stay away from Collaborative Law.

The initial agreement you all sign (i.e. both parties and their respective solicitors) says that you agree to go at the pace of the slowest party. That means that you cant set a timetable - I ended up taking time off work to attend meetings only to find that my ex- had decided she wasnt up to it and called it off at the very last minute.

You have to both have sloicitors that are prepared to foster and support a workable environment and approach otherwise it can become as exepnsive as the court route and take even longer with even more potential for creating (reinforcing maybe) the atmosphere of mistrust and frustration when all you want to do is get it over with.

  • mysty
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24 Sep 08 #51035 by mysty
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You need to be on the same page at the start. My stbx wanted to go collaborative - it makes her feel like she's acting reasonably. I was ok with that, but given the potential for more cost and a longer process if it doesn't work I asked for her perception of the likely outcome. Not unreasonable I thought. She said that would best be left to the solicitors, i.e. I'm not really collaborating. So I said how about 50/50 for starters (there's lots of cash so she wouldn't be penalised if she agreed to this). She was aghast at the thought. So I went adversarial, got a tough female solicitor and instigated the divorce rather than wait for the separation she initially suggested. It doesn't take long before kind words and good intentions turn to paste, believe me. Just make sure you've got a marker down from the off.

  • FrankieDG
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03 Feb 09 #85643 by FrankieDG
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We separated Jan 2008 - we have had several face to face meetings, the 2 of us - one meeting with each of us and own solicitors - I have paid nearly £2,000 in fees so far. Nothing at all been formally agreed. We are in Scotland. My party are arguing asset split in terms of Relevant Date. My ex is arguing split for his share holdings at todays (crashed) price. Residential property in joint names - I am staying put, with the kids. I fear that the more assets of a saleable nature there are - then the costs will escalate horribly. Especially if one party has a vastly stronger earning power. I really think it is a race against time and the dwindling bank accounts in terms of legal fees. For the sums on money argued over, well over £1M I fear that it may be sensible just to go straight to court? It is difficult maintaining a professional stance on the whole thing, especially when there is hatred within your psyche for your ex. I think collaborative law is only for those who are able to maintain a factual, unemotional discussion, over relatively restricted assets? I may be wrong, if so, please yell out!

Hope this is of any use.


  • Fiona
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03 Feb 09 #85670 by Fiona
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Frankie, your trouble has been brought about changes in the law in 2006 which were designed to make matters easier but have in fact brought about a different set of problems. Going to court in Scotland still mainly involves haggling by the solicitors and judgements are infrequently made. It could be a lot quicker and less expensive hammering out an out of court settlement somewhere between the two positions. The finances are often a question of minimising your losses.

  • bats
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03 Feb 09 #85769 by bats
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Some one said only works if you don't want to kill your ex! However we managed it. Suffered also (hugely) from valuations in May, final agreement in December 08. Ex's solic said at one stage for everyones sanity lets just stick to the figures of X as the markets are going up and down each day. Easy for him to say.We did a bit of collaborating at the end but only really because ex was desperate for me to release the money so she could buy a house.
In response to some other posts. Our finances were very complicated. I was honest about it all and we eventualy did it. Wasn't cheap though but partly because I employed an expensive solic.

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