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Collaborative Law In A Nutshell

Posted on May 7, 2014

What is Collaborative Law?

Each person who has decided to separate or divorce in the Collaborative Law process has their own solicitor where meetings take place in the same room with the aim of resolving everything face to face. I find this works better than correspondence and allows the process to cover a lot more ground rather than waiting for a response to a letter. Each person and the lawyers sign an agreement with one of the important things being that a financial application will not be made to court. Common matters can include children, finances, relocation or all of these matters.

How does Collaborative Law Work?

Once each person has instructed a Collaborative Layer there will usually be around 4-5 meetings to discuss the issues ‘around the table.’

Legal advice can be given to the parties during this process.

For Collaborative Law to work everyone needs to work towards reaching an agreement on the matters that have been raised and also agree for court proceedings not to be issued.

If an agreement is reached this can be drafted into a court order.

What can you discuss in Collaborative Law?

• How to separate in a dignified way that will not destroy the family;
• When to tell the children about the separation;
• Your views on the separation and the other persons view;
• Aim to rebuild communication that make have broken down;
• Legal and financial concerns;
• Emotions – In this situation a Family Consultant would usually be part of the meetings;
• Is the family home to be sold or will someone and the children remain there;
• Relocation internal and abroad;
• Who and when each parent will care for the children and how to co-parent even though the family is separating;
• Agreeing a financial outcome that looks at the families interests rather than focussing on positions;

Other Collaborative Experts

In some cases other professionals work with me. I commonly work with other Mediators, Accountants, Independent Financial Advisors and Divorce Coaches at the Divorce Survival Experts where clients feel this will help the Collaborative Process.

Does Collaborative Law Work?

Yes Collaborative Law has a high success rate when separating couples come to the meetings when they discuss possible options and outcomes by being prepared to express and listen to the other persons views in an open and free forum.

Austin Chessell and Massy Ellesmere are Family Mediators at FAMIA.

Austin Chessell is also a Collaborative Family Solicitor at Feltons Solicitors


Phone: 07920 445832

Twitter: @FamilyLawLondon

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    Austin Chessell
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    07518 293129