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What is Collaborative Law and how can it help you to separate amicably?

Published on 1 April 2023 | Modified on 3 May 2023

Written by Helen Stoller

Divorce & Family

What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative Law is about reaching solutions together with the help and support of collaborative trained specialists. 

Traditionally, when couples separate, they each take independent advice from their own family lawyers.  With the help of their lawyers, they work to reach an agreement on how best to resolve matters. Sometimes a court application is necessary and ultimately a decision could be imposed upon the parties by a Judge.

The collaborative process empowers you and your former partner to work together to reach the best solutions for you and your family.

This involves you and your former partner sitting down with the collaborative practitioners you each have appointed, in the same room, to work things out face-to-face.

You will have the opportunity to involve other professionals in the process, such as a family consultant to help deal with the emotional impact of separation, or a financial adviser to help with any financial decisions. This creates a team of professionals around you to provide you with the best support in the most cost-effective way.

Is Collaborative Law for you?

For the process to work you need to be in the right frame of mind and have the right professionals working with you.

You will have a genuine desire to reach an agreement that is fair to the whole family.

A willingness to be transparent and disclose fully all the information about your assets.

A commitment to reaching a solution without going to court.

Everyone involved will sign a Participation Agreement committing to working collaboratively and agreeing what issues matter most to you and your former partner.

Why is Collaborative Law so successful?

You will still have the benefit of independent legal representation.  You maintain control, without the threat of court proceedings hanging over you.

The agenda is set by you and so the time is focussed on resolving what matters most to you and your family.  Sometimes only a couple of meetings are needed, in other cases you may need more- but this is led by you and fits around your schedules and timeline, rather than being governed by court dates.

You work with your former partner so you have the best chance of understanding what is important to each other and finding solutions that work.

If there are children involved, then working collaboratively helps to maintain a successful co-parenting relationship after the legal process has concluded.  A child inclusive mediator or child specialist can join the process to act as a neutral adviser to ensure that the children’s needs are put first.

Once an agreement is reached this can then be drafted into a court order or agreement, as necessary. This gives you the certainty of knowing that there is a legal conclusion.

However, this is an agreement that you have had input into throughout.  Rather than enduring expensive and often lengthy court proceedings, and a decision being made at court by someone who does not know you, or your family.

At Poole Alcock we have the benefit of two Resolution trained Collaborative Law practitioners: Richard Barratt and Helen Stoller.

If you would like to find out more about how you can work with Richard and Helen to resolve matters amicably get in contact with us on 0800 470 0339, or visit our website here to arrange a consultation.

Find out more The collaborative process | Resolution


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