The collaborative process involves you and your ex sitting down with collaborative practitioners that you have each appointed, in the same room, to work things out face to face.
In the collaborative process rather than dealing through your solicitors, you work with them, to reach the best solutions for you and your family. Where necessary, you can also involve other professionals in the process, such as a family consultant or financial adviser, so you create a team to provide you with the best support in the most cost-effective way.
The collaborative process requires the right people with the right frame of mind who have:
a genuine desire to reach an agreement that is fair for the whole family;
a willingness to disclose, fully and honestly, information about all income and assets;
skilled, trained solicitors and other professionals who are practised in working in this way;
a commitment to reaching a solution without going to court.
The collaborative process may not be appropriate in cases where there has been domestic abuse, drug or alcohol problems, or mental health issues.
You still benefit from having your own legal adviser.
You are in control, without the threat of court proceedings hanging over you.
You set the agenda, so you talk about things that matter most to you and your family.
You set the pace.
You maintain contact with your ex.
If you have children, it will help them to cope better your separation if they see you working out things together.
Our members have all undertaken the collaborative negotiation training. They are also all family law solicitors with vast experience of family cases.
Mediation can also be an excellent alternative to using the court to resolve disputes, but it is quite different to the collaborative process.