Services for Individuals
The collaborative family law process is a relatively new way of dealing with family difficulties. Rather than Solicitors conducting negotiations by letter and telephone in what could be a confrontational way, the collaborative law process involves face to face meetings between you, your partner and your Solicitors. These are known as Four-Way Meetings.
The overriding aim of the collaborative law process is to resolve family disputes in a fair and equitable way without the necessity of going to Court. You and your partner will need to have a shared commitment to avoid litigation. The success of the process depends upon both parties acting in good faith and being honest and open in their dealings with each other. It also requires you to be able to see the other person’s point of view.
If you elect to adopt the collaborative law process and your partner also agrees to engage a collaborative lawyer, you and your partner and the lawyers would sign a Participation Agreement. It is important to note that if the process breaks down or one party opts to go to Court, the Collaborative Lawyers would then cease to act and new lawyers would have to be engaged to assist you in Court.
Once the process is underway, you and your partner would be invited to share your objectives at the first four-way meeting. Subsequent meetings would address the concerns and priorities that you would have highlighted at the first four-way meeting.
If financial matters are an issue, discussions would take place as to how your and your partner’s financial information should be shared. In some cases it may be necessary to invite other professionals specialising in pensions and financial planning to attend a meeting. You might also wish to involve professionals trained to assist children in understanding and coping with the changes which may affect them as a result of your divorce or separation.
If agreements are reached then documents can be drawn up by the Solicitors and, if appropriate, submitted to the Court for approval.
Contact Anne Blenkinsop for more information about Collaborative Family Law at Furley Page. Anne is a partner in the Family Law Team and has been practising family law since 1990. She trained as a collaborative lawyer in 2008. Anne is a member of Resolution and also a member of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel.
Furley Page is recommended by The Legal 500 for advising on Family law.
The Legal 500 2012 : Family