The collaborative process is still relatively new, but it is growing in popularity as people realise that it can offer a more effective alternative to the more traditional approach to settling Family Law disputes.
Both parties still retain a suitable experienced Family Law solicitor to represent them, so they will receive the appropriate legal advice throughout the process. However, instead of all the negotiations taking place by letter or on the phone, the collaborative process requires both parties and their solicitors to try and reach a settlement through a number of face to face meetings.
While this can be a better way to resolve a range of Family Law issues, it might not be the right approach in every case, and collaborative lawyers in our Family Law Solicitors Leeds office will be able to discuss whether it’s the most appropriate course of action for your particular situation.
The aim of the collaborative approach is to avoid the need to have the matter resolved by the court. In fact, in the very first meeting, both parties and their solicitors will be expected to sign an agreement acknowledging their commitment to reaching an agreement without going to court.
The Collaborative Process
Before the first meeting, each party will discuss what it is they are expecting to get out of the process with their solicitor. The solicitors will help their clients to prepare for the first meeting, and also make all the necessary arrangements. During the first meeting, as well as acknowledging the commitment to reaching a settlement, both individuals taking part will get the opportunity to outline what they want to achieve from the collaborative process. Certain guidelines might be set for the sharing of information, and the agenda will be planned for the next meeting.
In the subsequent meetings, the concerns and priorities of both sides will be discussed and dealt with. If necessary, these meetings may involve other professionals with experience of dealing with financial matters, or Family Law issues that affect children. Over the course of how ever many meetings might be needed, the aim is to address all the issues and then find a settlement that is acceptable to everyone.
The final meeting in the process is where both parties sign documents that detail the agreement that has been reached and, where possible, put in place a schedule for implementing whatever has been agreed.
By choosing the collaborative approach, partners can usually find that the whole process is more civil, less stressful, and in many cases, much quicker and less expensive than when a dispute needs to be decided by the courts.
If you are dealing with a Family Law issue and want to find out more about the collaborative approach, specially trained collaborative lawyers in our Family Law Solicitors Leeds offices will be able to provide you with the advice and assistance you need.