What is collaborative Law?
- Collaborative law is a form of alternative dispute resolution for divorcing couples who need strong legal representation, but would like to avoid going to court. Clients agree in advance not to take matters to court and they sign an agreement to that effect.
- Collaborative law is not Mediation as a Mediator does not advise or represent the client. Clients need to seek advice from their lawyers during the process in any event.
How does collaborative law work?
- Each party appoints their own lawyer, but instead of conducting negotiations by letter or phone, you meet your partner together with your lawyer to work things out face to face. This is known as ‘4 way meetings’.
- Unlike a traditional divorce, collaborative law offers the client the option of retaining a team of divorce professionals. Which can include (but not limited to); your divorce lawyer (which is essential in this process); a financial advisor to advise on the financial implications of any agreements or a family consultant who can support you and your children through the emotional terrain that sometimes exists.
- Once agreement is reached, the lawyers can draw up a document that can then be submitted to the court for approval. You and your former partner will not need to attend court throughout this whole process.
What are the benefits for collaborative Law?
- The process is not driven by a timetable imposed by the court. So to a large extent the process can be built around the client’s individual timetable and priorities.
- The process can be more successful in the long term than using the traditional court based approach. As the parties are more likely to adhere to resolutions that they have reached themselves through negotiations, rather than them being imposed on them by the court.
- The Collaborative process can be significantly less expensive than those traditional cases that progress to final hearing.
- As well as reducing legal costs, it can also reduce the heartache and conflict which sometimes go hand in hand with marriage breakdown. In many cases, it is not the divorce itself that does so much harm to families but the way in which people divorce.
How can Prince Family Law help?
Lisa Prince is a highly experienced and resolution accredited collaborative lawyer. If you wish to discuss collaborative law please contact Lisa who will be happy to outline the procedure to you and discuss the likely costs involved.