Collaborative law is a fundamentally different approach to sorting out the problems following the breakdown of a relationship.
At the outset, both parties and their advisors enter into an agreement not only that they will make a full and frank disclosure, but that they will collaborate with a view to finding a satisfactory solution to their issues. Both lawyers enter into a provision in the agreement that in the event that they fail to achieve a resolution, neither lawyer will be entitled to take the matter any further by way of an application to the court.
What is important is that it is the parties who set the agenda and therefore determine what issues are important to them, and the timescale and the manner in which they are to be resolved.
Although both parties seek advice from their lawyers individually, the negotiations and discussions take place face to face between lawyer and client. The role of the lawyers is not in any adversarial way to protect their own client and seek to destroy the case of the other, but to assist both parties and the other lawyer to find a solution to the problem which may satisfy everyone.
Whilst it doesn’t work for everyone and isn’t necessarily a cheaper route, collaborative law not only provides a framework for agreement, but also the preservation of a relationship between the parties, which can be so important where, in particular, they have dependent children.
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