helping to resolve family disputes through collaborative law
Collaborative law is a process that allows people to resolve their family law disputes face-to-face with the benefit of open legal advice.
At an initial assessment meeting, a member of the Watson Thomas Solicitors legal team can discuss whether the collaborative option is right for you.
The process consists of a series of four-way meetings at which each party has their own specially trained collaborative lawyer. Your lawyer is there to advise and support you throughout.
You can discuss any issues you like within collaborative meetings, such as divorce, financial issues or matters relating to children. Generally, 3 to 4 meetings are held over a period of a few months and the settlement or divorce petition is drafted during the process.
Collaborative law is different from conventional negotiation methods in that legal advice is given openly at four-way meetings. So not only do you get the benefit of independent legal advice, but you also hear the advice your ex-partner or spouse is receiving.
At the beginning of the process we all agree not to go to court to resolve matters. This binding agreement acts as a powerful incentive to work together to find a shared solution. People often find it more satisfactory to achieve an outcome they have designed themselves, rather than having a judgement imposed on them by a court. It also means collaborative agreements are more likely to be followed and upheld by the parties.
how does collaborative law differ from mediation?
Collaborative law is different from mediation in that you receive legal advice at meetings, and a binding agreement can be reached. The collaborative process is flexible as it allows other professionals to participate in meetings, such as family therapists or financial advisers. Each case is different, and the process can be adapted to suit your needs.
Collaborative law aims to minimise the harmful impact of conflict on all concerned, including children, and to resolve issues as efficiently as possible. The intention is to save costs in using the collaborative process. It is almost always cheaper than using the court process to resolve matters.
If you think collaborative law may help resolve your family law issue, please call Rachel Watson at our Fleet Office on 01252 622422 or our Guildford Office on 01483 320114.
We do offer capped fees for the collaborative service, which will depend on the complexity of your case, so please ask for details.
Download Collaborative Law Leaflet here