Underpinning the collaborative law process is a written agreement in which you and your former partner commit to reaching an agreement and settling matters without going to court. Both of you along with your solicitors will work together to bring about an agreement. This is a process that minimises correspondence, as negotiations and important decisions take place in what are called 4 way meetings. The agenda will be set by you both and offers flexibility to achieve an outcome that might well differ from what a court might order. You will be advised throughout on what a court would consider appropriate even if your respective advisors differ in their views as to outcome. Your lawyer can also give advice outside of the 4 way meeting but they must in turn be prepared to repeat that advice at the 4 way meeting if required. The approach is one of openness and transparency.

The progress is often tailored to the pace of the slowest person in the room, but it can proceed quickly if both parties want and can cope with that. That means that the 4 way meetings can be held close together and provided both parties have their financial information available, a conclusion can be reached and made binding within weeks rather than months.

If additional advice or assistance is required from IFAs, Pension Actuaries or other experts they can be brought into the process, jointly instructed by both parties, often attending the 4 way meeting so both parties can hear what they advise.

It is ultimately your process. Although guided by the lawyers, the onus is on you and your former partner to make the decisions and reach an agreement. If the collaborative process breaks down the two collaborative lawyers will not be able to take any further part in the process and both parties will have to instruct new solicitors.

Karen Anker is a collaboratively trained solicitor and can guide you through the process.

When Charlie and I started out along this Collaborative road, only 10 months ago, I don't think either of us expected to find the process as easy as it was, if that is the right word to use! Ignoring the emotional pain and stresses that naturally occur, the process you and Melanie guided us through has certainly eased these elements and also provided us with a structured dealing and planning mechanism for our divorce. Not only has it helped us work through the financial but also the 'family' elements to our future. I highly recommend the Collaborative process and your services to anyone going through a Divorce and I would also like to highlight the benefits of some form of family counselling, especially in the early days when everything is a bit raw.

Becky Harvey-Evers
Sarah Martin

Sarah Martin Head Family Law Team

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Karen Anker

Karen Anker Divorce & Family Law Solicitor

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Silvia Devecchi

Silvia Devecchi Divorce & Family Law Solicitor

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We offer a fixed fee consultation of £50 for the first appointment.
Get in touch on law@barrellison.co.uk or call 01223 417200 and ask for the Family Team.