What is Collaborative Family Law?
Collaborative law is a legal process whereby couples who have decided to separate or end their marriage/civil partnership can work with their lawyers in order to avoid the uncertain outcome of Court to try to achieve a settlement that meets the specific needs of both parties, and their children.
The voluntary process begins when the couple signs a contract, known as a “participation agreement”, which binds them both to the process. This contract also disqualifies their respective lawyers from representing either party in any future, family-related, litigation.
Under the collaborative system, each person appoints their own collaboratively trained lawyer (details of approved collaborative lawyers can be found on the Resolution website www.resolution.co.uk). All parties, including the solicitors, then meet to work things out, face to face. This ensures that all parties to the collaboration are absolutely committed to finding the best solutions by agreement, rather than having to resort to Court proceedings.
The collaborative process can be used to facilitate a broad range of other family issues, including disputes between parents and the drawing up of pre and post-marital contracts. As the traditional method of drawing up pre-marital contracts is oppositional, many couples prefer to begin their married life with documents drawn up in this way.