Collaboration is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution and is used in all types of Family Law cases. It differs from more traditional and formal methods in that it allows clients to be involved proactively in the negotiations and discussions. Our team of family law specialists can help to reach agreement and resolve disputes using collaboration.
As a form of alternative dispute resolution, a Participation Agreement is signed which means both parties are committed to resolving their issues without going to court.
Each party appoints a solicitor but instead of negotiations being carried out by post and telephone the parties meet together to work things out in “four-way meetings” involving both parties and their solicitors. We attend the meetings with our clients throughout the process providing support and advice.
The agreement sets out that if no solution is found neither solicitor will be able to represent their client in court meaning both parties will need to appoint new solicitors if the dispute does proceed to court.
In the collaborative law process, clients can have greater control of the discussions because of their active involvement and there is no written correspondence between the lawyers. It is a useful process for those wanting to reach a settlement but have previously been unable to reach agreement.
The process can be less expensive than more traditional methods that reach a final hearing. Moreover, there is no timetable set by the court so it can progress in its own time. It is flexible with meetings as often as needed and yet it usually takes far less time than a contested hearing.
Once an agreement is reached, solicitors can draw up an agreement that can be submitted to court for approval and made into an Order. There is no need for the parties to attend court throughout the process.