A Collaborative approach to divorce
A Collaborative approach to divorce aims to allow the couple to work together with their
respective solicitors to reach a solution which works for the whole family.
When a couple decide to take the Collaborative approach, they make a commitment to work together on their disputes. Their solicitors are there to guide and steer them, but it is very much the parties and their solicitors working together.
Over 3-4 meetings, the couple follow an agenda and deal with the problems they face. A collaborative approach is not limited to children or finances, the way that court proceedings are, rather any issue can be discussed, whether that is the future of the family home, contact arrangements or issues the court does not want to be involved with, such as the future of family pets. Over these meetings the couple will reach agreement, and be in a position to sign a Consent Order for submission to Court regarding the finances or an agreement for other issues.
The Collaborative process can represent a significant cost saving from court proceedings. Many solicitors offer it on a fixed fee basis, therefore the couple go into it knowing what the cost will be.
Clearly t his approach does not work for everyone. A part icularly bit ter or acrimonious separat ion means the parties are unlikely to be able to be in the same room and have a constructive conversation. For many couples determined to end their marriage as easily as possible, the Collaborative approach ca n be ver y successful.