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Collaborative Law Solicitors

 

When relationships break down, a Collaborative Lawyer can help you and your ex-partner navigate the issues of your separation without going to court. The collaborative law process helps you work together with a commitment to reaching solutions, rather than prolonging the argument.

If the relationship has truly reached a point where you are unable to communicate with each other, court proceedings may still be the right course of action for you.

Our experienced Collaborative Law Solicitors will discuss all the options with you and help you find the best route to a resolution.

Whenever possible, we recommend the collaborative law process.

Collaborative Law is a way of keeping your matter out of the courts - avoiding lots of stress and cost for everyone.

Lanyon Bowdler is a member of the Shropshire Collaborative Lawyers group, which is a collection of specially-trained solicitors who specialise in Collaborative Law.

Lisa Grimmett, who is a member of our family law team, works in this area of law and is an expert in helping couples to resolve their disputes by agreement rather than going to court.

Collaborative Law is an increasingly popular way of resolving domestic disputes, divorce and separation, and it’s certainly worth investigating to see if it could work for you.

The cost of legal advice should not be a barrier to anyone, so Lanyon Bowdler offers a range of pricing options, including fixed fees, so you know how much our services will cost from the outset.

To speak to our Collaborative Law Solicitor, please call the number at the top of this page or leave your details through the enquiry form and we’ll call you back.

What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative Law is a voluntary process that takes place out of court. It is designed to find “win-win” solutions for separating couples in a faster and more cost effective way than the traditional methods.

It takes into account the unique individual issues and emotions of all parties, rather than passing a judgement in the more clinical, factual way that a judge might.

It involves face-to-face discussions with your ex-partner by sitting down in the same room with a specially trained collaborative lawyer advising and supporting each of you.

All parties, including the lawyers, sign up to a participation agreement which sets out everyone’s commitment to reaching solutions without going to court. This helps promote constructive discussions rather than increasing conflict as court proceedings so often do.

Some common issues to be resolved include:

  • Child custody
  • Child maintenance
  • Division of financial assets including pensions
  • Division of belongings
  • The sale of a property
  • Divorce settlement agreements

What is an out of court divorce?

An 'out of court' divorce involves you and your spouse negotiating terms with the guidance of a solicitor to make sure you are both being treated fairly.

The decisions you make, if sent out in a financial consent order, are legally binding.

Many divorcing couples wish to find amicable solutions to the issues they face, and would prefer to minimise the associated costs through alternative dispute resolution methods.

In fact, the majority of financial issues, arising from divorce in the UK, are settled out of court.

Is Collaborative Law the right option for you?

The collaborative process is not right for everyone. 

For the process to be successful, you and your ex-partner must be able to communicate effectively face to face. You will need to be in the same room as each other to discuss the issues of your separation, such as the arrangements for your children, property and financial matters.

Of course, every couple’s circumstances are different, as are the reasons for separating.

For the collaborative process to be the right option for you, there must be a desire to reach an agreement amicably and avoid going to court.

Difficult compromises may need to be made, and each partner will at times need to work hard to see things from the other’s perspective. Our Collaborative Lawyer will guide you through the entire process, drawing on their knowledge and experience to help you arrive at an arrangement that is fair.

You will need to be open and honest with each other about your financial situation, and be willing to explore options that meet both of your needs.

What are the advantages of Collaborative Law?

  • It is amicable

The process is never going to be easy. But the challenges can be largely overcome when both parties strive to maintain a good relationship with each other throughout. This is especially important when children are involved, as a good working relationship may be needed for many years into the future.

  • It is faster and more cost effective

The costs associated with the collaborative law process are typically significantly lower than pursuing the matter through court, and it is generally faster too.

  • It is legally binding.

Once an agreement has been reached, the solicitors will draw up the necessary financial documents. Where there are divorce proceedings, the agreed terms will be submitted to the courts for approval.

  • You are in control

In the collaborative process you are in control of the agenda, the timetable and ultimately you decide on the outcome that is right for you.

You and your family's wishes are at the centre of all considerations, and you can find solutions that work for both parties, taking a huge variety of nuances into account. This might be to do with who gets the pet, or objects of sentimental value which only you understand the importance of. This control is lost once a judge gets involved. The judge's decision has to be accepted whether you like it or not.

What is the Collaborative Law process?

You both appoint your own Collaborative Law Solicitor who will attend all the meetings, guiding and advising you through the discussions. The focus is on face to face meetings, where you and your former partner play a central active role in shaping a tailor made agreed outcome. Correspondence is minimal.

Following a discussion with you to understand your wishes and objectives, your Collaborative Lawyer will speak to the other solicitor to form an agenda for the first meeting. This process will be repeated for any subsequent meetings, keeping things moving constructively going forward, by building on the outcomes from previous meetings and keeping your objectives at the heart of the process. Meetings are usual called ‘four-way’ meetings, due to the four participants. If specialist support or advice is required from financial advisors, accountants, pension actuaries or relationship therapists, then these neutral advisors join the meeting which then becomes a ‘five-way’ meeting. Here, all participants have an opportunity to explore, clarify and understand technical issues and options, face to face in the room.

There are no set timetables or deadlines. The process can be dictated by you and the other party.

The process continues until both parties are in full agreement and the outcomes have been documented and approved by the courts. Often a clean break is agreed and incorporated into a binding financial consent order, providing finality.

How is Collaborative Law Different to Mediation?

There are many similarities between the collaborative process and mediation. Both are based on principled negotiations which factor in the unique issues that are important to you both. The main difference is that in mediation, both parties meet with one neutral mediator, who is impartial and therefore unable to give any legal advice. 

In the collaborative process you each appoint your own Collaborative Lawyer who attends each session, and is able to give you independent advice. This is usually shared openly during the meetings to provide maximum cost efficiency and transparency.

Contact Lanyon Bowdler

Give us a call or complete our online enquiry form, to see how our solicitors specialising in family law can help. We have offices in Shrewsbury, Bromyard, Conwy, Hereford, Ludlow, Oswestry and Telford, so are able to act for clients all over Shropshire, Herefordshire, Mid and North Wales and across the Midlands.

By choosing Lanyon Bowdler, you can rest assured that you have the best legal expertise no matter what the situation. Our team has vast experience in all areas of family law and we are committed to providing exceptional levels of client care. We always act with the utmost discretion and you will be treated with sensitivity and understanding, as we work closely with you to find the best outcome for everyone involved.

As a leading full-service law firm, however, we can represent you wherever you live in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, so don’t hesitate to take advice from the collaborative law experts.  

Testimonials

Excellent staff in all respects. The process was clear, well managed and avoided unnecessary stresses or delays. The meetings were as focused and efficient as possible and costs were kept to a minimum throughout.

- Ms D Greaves, Hereford

I always felt you were working in my best interests, but you didn't sugar coat or patronise me. My case was complex and I appreciated the professionalism shown and how the legal system "worked"

- Mrs J Bradford, Stafford

Advice was sensible and informative. It allowed me to make the decisions with understanding potential concequences. 

- Mr Paul Simon Burgoyne, Hereford

The professionalism of the service received and the expert knowledge of the solicitor who handled my case.

- Mr K Whitelaw, Wolverhampton

Very efficient, pleasant and fully explained. I am well satisfied.

- Mr Stephen Turner, Oswestry

He was great, he listened and suggested the best course of action - thank you.

- Mr T Graves, Shrewsbury

Knowledge and information given was accurate and realistic.

- Mrs Eleanor Margaret Howells, Hereford

Everything from start to finish made me feel they always had my best interests.

- Mrs D Manser

Case Studies

Nothing Left to Partner

Claire acted for a claimant whose partner died, leaving his entire estate to ...

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