Miller Samuel Hill Brown, Solicitors, are experts in all aspects of family law including collaborative law. This innovative approach involves a different way of settling issues. It differs from more traditional methods in that it allows clients to be involved proactively in the negotiations and discussions. Our team of family law specialists can help reaching agreement and dispute resolution using collaboration as an alternative process.
Collaborative law involves a non-confrontational approach to resolving issues, caused by family breakdown, without the threat of court proceedings in order to find a mutually acceptable solution. It can be of benefit for couples who want or need legal representation but also prefer not to go to court.
It may be noted that it differs from mediation because a mediator does not represent a client. Where it is felt mediation would be a better option for a client we will advise appropriately.
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.
At Miller Samuel Hill Brown our team of family law experts will help you to decide if collaborative law is right for you and then assist throughout in reaching an agreement. For expert advice on collaborative law or any family law issue, contact our team based in Glasgow City Centre. Our family lawyers also help clients in Glasgow’s West End, South Side, Paisley and across Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire and Central Scotland, led by Charles Brown. Please call 0141 221 1919 or fill out our online contact form.