Collaborative Law Explained

Collaborative family law is a cooperative out-of-court approach to finding tailored solutions to the specific circumstances of a particular family. The concept allows divorcing spouses or separating couples to retain control over the outcomes relating to their children and their financial situation.

The hallmark of collaborative family practice is the commitment to resolving all issues arising from a divorce with a constructive, confidential, non-adversarial approach. The traditional divorce process is often lengthy, adversarial, and frequently painful, both emotionally and financially. The collaborative family law process allows separating couples to decide the speed at which matters are discussed and resolved, to really concentrate on issues that are important to them (which may be side-lined by a judge if they were to follow the traditional route), and to seek to ensure that the relationship between them remains as positive as possible for the benefit of their children and wider family.

In the collaborative law setting, both spouses and their respective solicitors would meet in a neutral setting and begin the negotiation process. All four of them will sign an agreement confirming that they will not go to court (the participation agreement). This agreement requires the solicitors to withdraw if the process breaks down and can be a powerful tool to introduce imaginative ways of seeking to resolve issues. All four individuals are expected to participate in a positive and open discussion and the spouses are supported and encouraged by their lawyers to find an agreeable outcome for the spouses and families involved.

It is sometimes helpful within this collaborative law process to involve financial experts or family therapists, and such individuals will be brought in by agreement to inform and to assist the individuals to come to an agreeable outcome.

The collaborative law practice is also helpful for couples embarking on their relationship, and with the increasing popularity of prenuptial agreements and living together agreements, what could be a better way of dealing with what can be very difficult conversations in a neutral but positive environment.

The goal of collaborative family practice is to assist you and your partner to resolve all of the issues arising from your separation in a dignified and respectful way which will benefit the whole family. It is often a quicker and less expensive route than the traditional divorce process.

To enquire about collaborative law or to speak with a collabortive lawyer, contact us today, our contact details are listed below;

Written by: Thea Hughes

Thea is a director with Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice and a Collaborative Lawyer. She is also on the management committee of Family Mediation Cymru and a member of Resolution.

To enquire about collaborative law or to speak with a collaboraive lawyer, contact us today, our contact details are listed below;

T: 029 2034 2233 

Published 05/04/18