What items are placed on the agenda?2021-09-22T15:13:12+00:00

The Collaborative approach allows you to set the agenda – so you talk about the things that matter to you most.

One of the major benefits of the Collaborative process is that you and your partner plan as a team in conjunction with your solicitors the agenda for the first and any subsequent meetings.  The agenda will always depend on your own individual circumstances.

A typical agenda for a first Collaborative meeting might be:-

  • Anchor statements i.e. you and your partner will be invited to share your own reasons for choosing the Collaborative approach, what you want to avoid and what each of you consider to be the best possible outcome.
  • Discussing, approving and signing the Participation Agreement.
  • Discussion of the divorce process.
  • Draft Divorce Petition – agree on contents, the timescale for filing, who is to be Petitioner, costs.
  • Discuss financial disclosure and next steps.
  • Discuss the way forward for the children – current arrangements and proposed future arrangements.
  • Discuss aspirations from the process
  • Next steps.
  • Arrange date of next four-way meeting.

You set the pace and you are not working to a Court Timetable when using the Collaborative approach.

Very often only a couple of meetings are needed but in other cases, it could be three, four or five meetings.. The key is that you and your partner will decide how frequently and how many meetings are needed.

Within the Collaborative approach you and your partner “own” the Collaborative process and control the timetable.  You set the priorities and decide together how quickly or slowly you want to take things.  All subsequent meetings will deal with your specific priorities and concerns.

Meetings usually take place at the office of one or the other solicitor and commonly will alternate each time.  Both parties appreciate that they can mutually decide they may need a little more time to reach an agreement.

Control is lost if a Judge has to be involved, the outcome of court proceedings is always uncertain and a Judge could take a different view altogether and one which might not be acceptable to either of you.

Why haven’t you heard of Collaborative Law?2021-05-10T05:19:03+00:00
  • Although the process is not new, not every family lawyer has the specialist training required to conduct the process.
  • An increasing number of clients who have used the Collaborative Law process have expressed higher levels of satisfaction at the end of their case.
  • The collaborative process is established as one of the preferred options for dispute resolution within the English family legal justice system.
What do you need for Collaborative Law to work for you?2021-06-14T11:13:08+00:00
  • a genuine desire to reach an agreement that is fair to the whole family, with children prioritised;
  • a willingness to disclose and share information and documents, fully and honestly;
  • skilled, trained solicitors and other professionals who are committed to working together in this way;
  • a commitment to reaching a solution without going to court.
Who can use the collaborative process?2021-05-10T05:18:08+00:00

Anyone can use the collaborative process, so long as you both use collaboratively trained family lawyers and you are both willing to be open, honest and have a desire to settle any matters between you in a friendly and amicable way.

Although we all work in the Midlands we have had many clients who live and work abroad or have flexible shifts. This process can work equally well via an internet platform such as Zoom or Teams. There are specific guidelines that need to be followed to ensure confidentiality is followed at all times and these will be shared with you.

What is the collaborative process?2021-05-10T05:17:47+00:00

We will work with you both independently and together to identify your shared interests and to make the exchange of any documentation and information required as efficient, cost effective and straight forward as possible, laying the way for negotiations and an agreed fair outcome.

You will receive your own legal advice and support from lawyers who are trained to work with one another and if you have children, with the focus firmly on them. The process revolves around a series of meetings and in between communications are usually conducted over the telephone.

Meetings are carefully planned so that the things you need to sort out can be discussed and negotiated face to face. Most cases will be settled with between two to five meetings depending on the complexity and the number of issues involved. Rather than dealing ‘through’ your solicitors, you work directly ‘with’ them, to reach the best solutions for you and your family.

Meetings will be either “four way” meetings – ie. the two of you and each of your lawyers. Or they will be “five way” meetings – ie. the two of you, your lawyers and a fifth neutral expert agreed by you, who is brought into the meeting to advise on any particular aspect of your case that requires expert advice.

You decide on the outcome and settle matters with dignity and with the minimum of acrimony.

You control the timetable for meetings, the venue and those involved. Working with a fifth neutral/other professionals, such as a financial adviser or a family consultant, means you have a dedicated team to provide you with the best possible information, advice and support, and doing so in a way that helps keep misunderstanding and disputes to a minimum.

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