Sunday, December 16, 2018

Collaborative Family Law And Divorce


July 11, 2010  

Collaborative family law is a relatively new process designed to deal with family disputes. It can work particularly well if you and your partner are getting a divorce. Rather than work out the details of the divorce with phone calls and letters between your lawyers you all meet face to face and resolve any issues. Using this technique means a divorce can be completed without having to involve the courts.

Both parties still engage their own lawyer, so they both still get independent legal advice that makes sure each party is fully aware of their rights. Initially, each party meets with their own lawyer privately. If it is agreed to use the collaborative law process then a 4-way meeting is set up for both partners and their lawyers to attend. Before this meeting your lawyers explain the procedure and what you can expect at the meeting, so you will be well prepared.

The first meeting is to establish that all those involved agree to and fully understand the process. Both parties will sign an agreement that states that they are seeking a resolution or agreement without having to use a judge to decide on the divorce terms. The date time and format of the next meeting is agreed, including who will bring the necessary information to the next meeting, e.g. financial details. If any specialist advice is needed e.g. financial advice, it is agreed whether any advisers need to attend the next meeting and who will arrange for that to happen.

There will be several subsequent meetings at which the terms of the divorce will be agreed. These terms include arrangements for child custody, maintenance and the splitting of assets. Your lawyers will draw up the agreement and schedule a final meeting to sign the necessary documents and proceed with the divorce.

If at the final meeting any further action is needed, what this is will be agreed along with a schedule to ensure these actions are quickly carried out. If on the other hand everyone is happy with the agreement it will be signed there and then.

Both of the lawyers involved need to be specially trained in collaborative law. In addition to knowing the law they are trained to help their clients to remain calm, listen and to prevent the process becoming combative. This approach usually leads to a quicker and much less acrimonious divorce. They do not act as mediators, only as enablers. Generally the process works well, especially in cases that involve children who respond to the fact that their parents are calmer and less combative than other parents when going through a divorce.

Source: www.leepriestley.com

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