October 6, 2016

Collaboration, consideration and co-operation – the benefits of collaborative family law

By family law specialist, Norman Taylor – a pioneer of collaborative law

This week is Collaborative Family Law Week, which raises awareness and understanding of how collaborative family law offers a viable and constructive alternative to going through the court system.

Throughout the week, an eye-catching online and social media campaign has seen daily blogs shared widely on five main themes: working together, staying out of court, keeping control, maintaining dignity and future focused.

Below are frequently asked questions from our clients about the collaborative process and its benefits:

Q: What is collaborative family law?

A: It is an opportunity for divorcing couples to avoid a costly courtroom battle over the division of their assets and children’s futures and opt for a harmonious separation. It appeals to many people seeking a civilised and low-key process.

Q: What are the main objectives?

A: Collaboration places emphasis on respectful and dignified resolution, putting any children at the heart of the process and keeping the details private.

Q: How does it work?

A: Each party appoints their own collaboratively trained lawyer. They meet to work things out at a convenient time and location they are both comfortable with and are backed up by support and legal advice. All sign a contract committing them to trying to resolve matters by agreement, without going to court and lawyers will agree only to represent the parties within the collaborative process and not in court.

Q: What is wrong with the court process?

A: Litigation can bring many disadvantages, including high costs, substantial distress and a prolonged process. It assumes there is conflict, whereas there is often only disagreement – which can nearly always be solved creatively through discussion, asking questions and finding solutions together. However, there are cases where litigation is the only option.

Q: Is collaboration more cost-effective?

A: Going to court is usually the most expensive option and can be a cold, clinical, very public and daunting experience, where you hand over the decision-making to a judge who does not know you and has no real idea what is truly important to you.

Jones Myers family lawyers are members of Resolution – professionals committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes. All follow a code of practice that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family issues.

If you have any comments, queries or concerns on any divorce related issue, leave a comment below, call the Jones Myers team on 0113 246 0055 or tweet us on @helpwithdivorce.