Published: 6 June 2013
Family law has, in recent times, seen a new process known as collaborative law becoming increasingly popular as a way of dealing with family disputes. The aim of collaborative law is to resolve family disputes without going to court.
Each client appoints their own solicitor but instead of conducting negotiations by way of a court process, they meet together with their respective solicitors to work things out by way of a series of meetings. Having their legal representatives by their side during the entire process gives both clients the benefit of legal advice throughout and at the same time avoids the pressure and costs of going to court.
The first meeting starts with both clients and their solicitors committing to work together to reach an agreement without resorting to court proceedings. At that meeting both clients are also invited to share their own objectives in choosing the collaborative process and setting the agenda for the next meeting.
Subsequent meetings deal with both clients’ priorities and concerns. They might, for instance, look at involving other professionals such as specialists in financial planning or people trained to assist children in understanding and coping with divorce or separation. The meetings also facilitate an agreement on how financial assets will be shared and can also address arrangements needed for the care of the children.
In the final meeting, documents detailing the agreements reached will be signed and in the case of finances, submitted to the court for approval. The solicitors will talk through with both clients anything else that needs to be done in order to implement those agreements.
One of the main benefits of the collaborative process is that it’s not driven by a timetable imposed by the court, so to a large extent the process can be built around individual priorities.
This article was written by Kerry Smith, Head of Family Law, K J Smith Solicitors, specialists in family law. K J Smith Solicitors is a legal firm specialising in all areas of family law with extensive experience of dealing with both Non-Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders. They believe that the best results come through proper understanding, practical solutions and prompt action. As specialists, they are responsive and flexible to every single client. Why not contact them today to arrange a free 45 minute consultation. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Henley (01491) 630000 or London 020 7070 0330 to find out how they can help you. Their website address is: www.kjsmith.co.uk.