Collaborative practice is a modern approach to resolving family problems. If you or your partner are considering divorce, you may be asking yourself whether you will be able to keep control of the process in any way. If the matter goes to Court, you will be faced with the uncertainties of a system which allows the Court a wide discretion but can sometimes restrict the range of solutions available to your particular circumstances. You now have an option to resolve matters by joining with one of our trained Collaborative Lawyers together with your partner and his/her Collaborative Lawyer.
Our experience has been that Collaborative Practice has been invariably successful in helping couples to apportion their assets by joint discussion with the help of supportive legal advice in a non-confrontational way. You also stand a very good chance of maintaining a relationship with a former partner that might otherwise be damaged by the adversarial court system, and this is particularly important where children are concerned.
- How does Collaborative Practice work?
All participants (including the lawyers) will be asked to sign an agreement which precludes either party from taking the dispute to Court. If this agreement is broken, the parties have to start again with different lawyers, so there is a strong incentive to make the process work.
Once the agreement has been signed by all, both parties work with their legal advisers to gather the necessary information required to enable four way discussions to take place round the table. The lawyers involved will only make contact to discuss preparations for the meeting and the issues that need to be discussed. They do not exchange correspondence. The object is for all the participants to work together openly to find the solutions that best suit all concerned.
Other professionals can be included at the meetings if their expertise is needed. For example, an accountant may be able to discuss the valuation of a business and the alternative ways of structuring a buy out of one party’s interest in it. The benefit here is that all involved receive the same information at the same time.
The key factor of this method is that you and your partner remain in control of your own destiny and do not face solutions being imposed upon you by a stranger in a process which itself can be daunting. The speed of the process will depend on the complexity of the issues involved and the parties’ ability to provide the necessary disclosure. You decide the pace and remain in control of the process.