Collaborative Law

Divorce Aid advocates for the use of Collaborative Law, a method where specially trained lawyers commit to resolving your case without court intervention, although final agreements are still officially approved by a court. This innovative approach is designed to manage divorce and family disputes with a focus on maintaining dignity and respect. Recognizing the significant emotional, temporal, and financial toll divorce can exert on families, Collaborative Law seeks to conserve financial resources for better purposes. Should parties fail to reach an agreement, the involved solicitors will not transition the case to court litigation.

Distinct from traditional divorce proceedings, Collaborative Law fosters a team-based approach, enabling couples to collaborate with their own lawyers and, when necessary, other experts such as child specialists or financial analysts to resolve disputes amicably without court involvement.

This method shines particularly in financial disagreements, offering a platform for quicker and more amicable resolutions compared to court battles.

Unlike mediation, where an impartial mediator facilitates without providing legal advice or representation, Collaborative Law actively involves both spouses and their lawyers in a united effort to reach a settlement. This teamwork-oriented approach ensures that all parties are fully informed and advised throughout the process, enhancing decision-making and the potential for agreement.

Though relatively new, having been introduced in the UK in 2003 after success in Canada and the USA, Collaborative Law can lead to cost savings primarily by minimizing the back-and-forth of solicitor correspondence and focusing discussions on face-to-face meetings. This reduction in paperwork and correspondence not only lowers legal fees but also lessens the emotional strife typically associated with divorce.

Collaborative meetings involve direct discussions among both spouses and their respective lawyers, ensuring a transparent and cooperative environment. Before commencing, each party meets individually with their lawyer to prepare. This format empowers individuals to actively participate in the negotiation, fully disclosing all pertinent information and working towards mutually beneficial outcomes.

The advantages of Collaborative Law are manifold:

  • It promotes a respectful and non-confrontational process.
  • Children’s needs and interests are prioritized.
  • It avoids the financial and emotional costs of court proceedings.
  • It facilitates the possibility of maintaining amicable relations post-divorce.
  • It offers personal control over decisions with professional support.
  • It negates the need for judicial intervention in personal matters.
  • It eschews vengefulness, focusing instead on constructive resolution.

However, Collaborative Law may not suit everyone. It requires mutual agreement to the process, which is not covered by legal aid. For those considering this path, Divorce Aid can facilitate introductions to qualified professionals. Interested parties should provide detailed information about their situation, including their location and contact details, to explore this dignified approach to divorce resolution.