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Collaborative Law - A New Way Forward In Difficult Times

Author : Cara Brownethorpe

A significant improvement in the manner in which family disputes, especially divorce or separation, are settled has long been overdue. Collaborative law is fairly new but can provide many advantages over the conventional iterative approach of each party initially meeting their own solicitors and then the lawyers interacting by letter or telephone and after that relaying the outcomes back to their clients. Collaborative law is predicated upon a series of four way meetings in which each party has their lawyer by their side throughout. The communication procedure is assisted yet the legal advice is also always to hand. The hope is that a greater percentage of disputes can be resolved with no need to go to court, at any rate until understanding among parties has been achieved.

Originally to decide to set about the collaborative procedure both parties will have met their lawyers individually. Some solicitors, take for instance Lemon and Co. a collaborative solicitor in Swindon, Wiltshire, will advise you to take this course whenever possible, as evidence is growing that expenses and courtroom actions can be cut down, and confrontations are generally prevented. Once provided with a grounding in the collaborative approach all parties can move quickly on to their first four way meeting. As with any approach it will still be necessary to prepare for the four way meeting of course.

In the initial meeting all parties will sign an agreement to the effect that they're fully committed to the collaborative approach and working out an agreement without going to court. Each party will present their goals and favored outcomes and prepare the schedule for the following meeting. Importantly at this stage the paramount needs of any young children in the case, how they are presently coping and how most effectively to safeguard them, will be reviewed. It may even be possible, even during the initial meeting, to share financial particulars and agree on any additional disclosures that might be required in the following meeting.

Further meetings can consider financial agreements in detail and will debate the various possible arrangements for the children, keeping in mind how they are responding as the process goes ahead. It could be that different specialists are required to take part at some point, pensions advisors or valuers for example and these can always be accommodated.

At some point agreement will be reached on a settlement and a closing meeting will be organized to formalize this and for both parties to sign a contract containing the points of the settlement. Any additional steps necessary to implement the agreement will be detailed by the solicitors taking part. Sometimes precise dates for conclusion of the process will not be available but the principles of implementation will be decided.

The timescale for the approach is far more in the control of the parties than was once the case. Communication delays can be reduced significantly and yet if there is need for a pause in the procedure, possibly to enable opportunity for reconciliation, this too can be readily accommodated.

Author's Resource Box

Lemon and Co provide private and family legal services in the Swindon area. They specialise in collaborative law and mediation for resolution of conflict situations.

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Tags:   Collaborative Law, Collaborative Solicitors Swindon, Solicitors Swindon

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Submitted : 2011-06-08    Word Count : 542    Times Viewed: 599