Collaborative Law at Woollcombe Yonge
What is the Collaborative Process?
It is common for divorcing couples to try to resolve their issues through court proceedings, where they slug it out at great expense, being encouraged to make allegations against the other party and ultimately leading to a situation where a Judge makes the decisions for them.
The collaborative process avoids the court proceedings as the parties are encouraged to amicably and cooperatively find constructive solutions to the issues.
Both parties will be represented by a lawyer who has been specially trained in the collaborative process and who will assist the parties in reaching an agreement that benefits the family as a whole.
The lawyers and the parties will sign a contract, which means that lawyers will not represent either party in court.
This prohibition is designed to commit couples to the process and ensure that they are fully engaged in resolving their disputes through the collaborative process and without going to court.
There will be a series of face to face meetings with your lawyers in order to resolve the issues that have arisen.
Advantages of the collaborative process
• It can be cheaper.
• It can be quicker.
• You and your former partner retain control of the decision making, rather than putting it in the hands of a Judge.
• The process encourages and promotes good long-term communication, which is particularly important where there are children.
• The parties often find it less emotionally stressful than going to court.
• The process focusses on what is most important to you, which more often than not is the children.
• The process is more supportive than going through the Court, as both of the parties and their Lawyers work together to reach a conclusion.
• Rather than looking backwards and making allegations about what has happened in the past, the parties are encouraged to look forward in order to resolve their matters, which is far more constructive.
Your collaborative lawyer
Collaborative lawyers employ different skills to resolve issues between former partners.
They are specially trained to deal with conflict resolution and the emotions that arise from relationship breakdown.
This includes the anger and grief that all parties feel when they separate.
Collaborative lawyers are trained to listen to both parties’ views and opinions and to look at the parties’ interests, such as the childrens’ needs, needs for stability and security for housing and financial support for both parties.
The collaborative lawyers work together to get the best solution for the whole family, rather than competing against each other on behalf of their clients.
Collaborative lawyers are able to employ family consultants, counsellors, financial experts, accountants and pensions advisors to assist in resolving the parties’ issues.
Is collaborative law right for you?
Collaborative law is not necessarily for everyone.
Sometimes it is better to use the more traditional route of court proceedings, despite the additional costs and emotional stresses and strains.
Alternatively, negotiations between solicitors possibly with roundtable meetings, may be the more effective method of resolving the dispute At the first meeting, we will discuss your goals and interests, rather than your positions and outcomes. This will help build a strong foundation for the collaborative process.
We will ask you to give thought about why you would prefer the collaborative process, and what you are hoping to achieve.
This will be set out in a statement, known as an anchor statement.
In some circumstances, for example where there are complex legal issues, where there are high levels of conflict, where there are significant trust issues, where there may be the risk of one party not providing full and frank disclosure of their means, or where one party may not want to use the collaborative process, it may be that the collaborative process would not be appropriate.
Most collaborative lawyers, however, would be confident that they can resolve situations where there is grief, anger and even high levels of conflict, or where there are complex legal issues.
Make an Appointment
If you are interested in the collaborative process, please contact Will Giles on 01752 660384 or email Will at firstname.lastname@example.org for an initial discussion.
"As a family we found the service provided to us was delivered with ’empathy’ and was in fact ‘outstanding’, we would most certainly recommend Woollcombe Yonge to friends.”