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Collaborative Law Solicitors

Resolution Solicitors in Leicestershire

For A More Dignified Divorce

Many people believe that when getting divorced, a fight is inevitable. The reality is that even the most complex and emotionally charged divorces can be handled with minimum conflict if you have the right legal advice and support to take a non-confrontational approach.

At Johnson Astills, our team are members of Resolution, the organisation founded to prevent the legal process itself from increasing acrimony between separating couples.

As divorce becomes a fact of life for many families, Johnson Astills supports the growing number of couples seeking a constructive approach to separating their finances and settling differences about decisions concerning children.

We can assist you with taking a collaborative approach to your divorce, allowing you and your former partner to agree the practical details of your separation voluntarily. This can save you a significant amount of time and money, while keeping conflict to a minimum.

Our team includes trained Collaborative Law Solicitor, Emma Mitchell, who is highly experienced in representing people who want to get a fair outcome for their divorce without the need for avoidable emotional fallout or court proceedings.

A collaborative approach to the resolution of family matters can achieve amazing results and outcomes for families, so why not get in touch to find out more? 

Book your fixed fee consultation today for your first step to a more dignified divorce.

Collaborative law and its benefits for your divorce explained

What is collaborative law?

Collaborative law is an approach to divorce in which you and your spouse agree to sit down for a series of ‘round the table’ meetings, where each of you is supported by your own specialist legal adviser (who must be trained in collaborative law).

The goal is to discuss any points of disagreement over the financial aspects of your divorce, arrangements for children and any other practical issues you need to resolve, and agree solutions that work for both of you.

The process usually involves several meetings and you can also have other professional experts, such as accountants and financial advisers, sit in on the meetings to make sure you have access to all of the advice and support you need.

At the start of the collaborative law process, you, your spouse and your respective lawyers will sign an agreement committing you to making the process a success. As a consequence of this, if you cannot reach an agreement and need to initiate court proceedings, your respective lawyers will not be able to represent you in those proceedings.

Any agreement you make through collaborative law can be recorded and made legally binding on both parties by having your lawyer apply to a family court for a ‘consent order’.

What are the benefits of collaborative law for divorce?

There are various reasons why collaborative law is an appealing way to deal with divorce, including:

  1. It is usually much faster than taking your divorce through the courts.
  2. The legal costs can be lower than for court proceedings.
  3. It allows you to keep your divorce from becoming unnecessarily adversarial.
  4. It can allow you to maintain a better relationship with your former partner, which can be particularly helpful if you have children together.
  5. You have your own legal adviser with you at all times, helping you to unpick any complicated issues and to ensure your interests and those of your loved ones stay protected.
  6. It can allow you to work through much more complex problems than can usually be handled effectively with alternatives such as mediation.

Who is collaborative law for?

Collaborative law is suitable for most divorces, including those where there are complex financial matters and other challenging issues to deal with. The process does rely on both spouses taking an open, honest approach with a willingness to work together, so as long as you believe you and your spouse can commit to this, collaborative law is likely to work for you.

There are some circumstances where collaborative law may be less suitable, however, and alternatives, such as court proceedings, may be more appropriate. For example, if you are concerned that your spouse will seek to conceal information (e.g. about their finances) or where you have experienced domestic abuse in your relationship.

What happens if you can’t reach an agreement through collaborative law?

In the rare cases where the process ends without an agreement being made, you or your former partner can initiate court proceedings if you wish. However, if you do so, the solicitors who represented you during the collaborative law process cannot represent you in court.

In addition, anything disclosed in the collaborative law sessions and any concessions either party made cannot be referred to as part of any subsequent divorce court proceedings.

How is collaborative law different to mediation?

Mediation involves you and your ex-partner sitting down for a series of meetings with a trained, neutral mediator.

Like collaborative law, the goal is for you and your spouse to agree the practical details of your divorce. However, unlike collaborative law, you do not have your own trained legal representative with you during the sessions.

The mediator’s role is to keep the process on course and defuse any potential conflict, not to guide you in the decisions you make or to provide legal advice.

While mediation can be an effective way of dealing with straightforward issues during divorce, collaborative law can be a much better option where there are more legally complex or challenging points of contention that you need to sort out. This is because you have your own trained legal representative in your corner to advise you on the legal technicalities involved and to protect your interests.

Speak to our collaborative lawyers in Leicestershire about your divorce

To find out more about how collaborative law can make your divorce easier, faster and less costly, please get in touch with your local Johnson Astills office in Leicester or Loughborough to arrange an initial fixed fee consultation.