If the separation of a couple is amicable, or the individuals are at least able and willing to talk to each other, Collaborative Law provides the best solution for a calm, supported, amicable and straightforward way of ending a relationship.
A couple that decides to use this process each needs to appoint their own collaboratively trained lawyer and meet with them separately in order to explain their circumstances, objectives and learn what to expect in the forthcoming face-to-face meetings which the lawyers will arrange.
At the start of the first meeting, the couple is asked to each sign an agreement that shows their commitment to working things out without going to court. The couple is expected to speak directly with each other in the meetings, with the lawyers present to be used as a resource for personal support and legal advice, rather than a mouthpiece.
Each individual will share their objectives in order to plan the agenda for the next meeting, discuss how financial information will be shared and agree on who will bring what information to the next meeting.
Subsequent four-way meetings between the couple and their respective lawyers will be to discuss parenting responsibilities for any children, assets such as property or investments, and financial issues including maintenance and pensions.
Besides a lawyer, a couple can bring in an independent financial advisor, family consultant, a child specialist or accountant, if specialist expertise is needed to resolve financial or parenting issues. All these professionals will collectively make up a ‘collaborative team’ and be asked to sign the agreement which prevents them representing the wither party in court if the collaborative process breaks down. This means that everyone is absolutely committed to finding the best solutions by agreement, rather than through court proceedings.
In the final meeting, documents detailing the agreements that have been reached will be signed and the lawyers will talk each party through anything else that needs to be done in order to implement those agreements. The lawyers will then obtaining a court order where needed.
The benefits of Collaborative Law for a couple in include…
- Each individual receiving independent legal advice
- Relevant expertise can be called on as and when needed
- moving forward at their own pace, with as many or few meetings as needed
- being in control at all times, setting the agenda and making their own decisions
- continuing to communicate, which is especially beneficial for co-parenting
Mediation Now offers a team of fully trained and highly experienced individuals trained in the collaborative process that can sit beside you and look after your interests throughout this legal process.