You and your spouse or partner each instruct your own specially trained collaborative lawyer. Our lawyers are all family law solicitors with years of experience in divorce and family cases.
All negotiations are done in face-to-face meetings (called "4-ways") with you, your partner and the two solicitors working together to resolve the issues.
You agree not to go to court apart from dealing with uncontested divorce proceedings and getting the court's approval for the financial agreement that you reach in the form of a legally binding financial consent order. No court hearings are necessary.
Your collaborative lawyers are there to provide support, guidance and legal advice both in and outside the 4-way meetings. Although both solicitors are committed to helping both you and partner reach a settlement, your solicitor still has a professional duty to advise you personally.
Other experts such as counsellors, family consultants, accountants and financial professionals can be brought in to assist if everyone agrees that this is needed or would be helpful.
You and your spouse or partner disclose all relevant financial and other information openly and honestly through the collaborative process.
You and your spouse or partner set the agenda and the timetable, with the help of your solicitors – you talk about what matters to you and at your own pace.
If you have children, their interests will be at the heart of the process.
If you cannot reach agreement using the collaborative process and have to apply to the court to decide matters for you, each of you would then have to instruct new solicitors as the collaborative agreement signed by you and your collaborative solicitors bars them from doing any further work for you in relation to your divorce or separation.