Collaborative Law is a dispute resolution approach where both parties commit to working together with their respective lawyers to find a mutually agreeable solution outside of court. Collaborative law is a voluntary and confidential process that emphasises cooperation and mutual respect.
In collaborative law, each party has a lawyer who is trained specifically in collaborative law. The parties and their lawyers work together to find a solution to the dispute.
Initially, both parties and their lawyers sign an agreement to work together to find a resolution without going to court. The agreement outlines the terms of the process, including the commitment to open communication, the exchange of information, and the use of neutral experts to help resolve any issues.
Throughout the collaborative process the parties and their lawyers work together to identify and prioritise their goals, discuss their concerns, and explore various options for resolving their disputes. This approach allows for a creative and flexible strategy to problem-solving, enabling the parties to find solutions that meet everyone’s needs.
If an agreement is reached, the lawyers will work together to draft a settlement agreement that reflects the terms of the agreement. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement through the collaborative process, they have the option of seeking alternative methods to resolve their dispute, such as mediation or arbitration, or resolution together. In some cases, if an agreement cannot be reached through these methods, the parties may choose to seek the assistance of new lawyers and proceed to court.
While it is often said that agreements reached in collaborative law are legally binding, the reality is a bit more nuanced. These agreements become binding to a certain extent once they are signed. However, the full legal binding only occurs when the agreement is ratified by a court order. If either party decides to apply to the court for an order that deviates from the terms agreed upon in the collaborative law process, the other party can respond with a “Notice to Show Cause”, prompting the court to assess whether the person seeking a different order should be held to their agreement. It is important to note that if there have been significant and unforeseen changes in circumstances since the collaborative agreement, the court may still make a different order. Therefore, it is always necessary to submit any agreement to the court in the form of a court order, when possible, during the divorce or termination of a civil partnership.
We are committed to ensuring that you have a clear understanding of what to expect at every stage of your case and will advise you on anything that you are unsure of with clarity and compassion. Our goal is to empower you to make informed, confident decisions.
We understand that family disputes can be emotional and overwhelming, which is why we prioritise empathy and compassion in our approach. We work closely with our clients to understand their unique situations and help them make informed decisions that are in their best interests and the best interests of their families.
Our team of collaborative lawyers has extensive experience in handling a variety of family law matters, including divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division. We are committed to proving our clients with the highest level of legal representation and support throughout the entire collaborative process.
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