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Using Collaborative Family Law For A Divorce

By Martha Reed

Collaborative family law is a relatively new process practised by Resolution accredited lawyers. It is designed to deal with family disputes, including divorce. Rather than work out the divorce terms using phone calls and letters your lawyers, you and your partner meet face to face to resolve any issues and agree terms. Using collaborative law means a divorce can be completed without having to resort to the court system.

Both parties still engage their own lawyer, so they both still get independent legal advice that makes sure each party is fully aware of their rights. Initially, each party meets with their own lawyer privately. If it is agreed to use the collaborative law process then a 4-way meeting is set up for both partners and their lawyers to attend. Before this meeting your lawyers explain the procedure and what you can expect at the meeting, so you will be well prepared.

The first meeting is to establish that all those involved agree to and fully understand the process. Both parties will sign an agreement that states that they are seeking a resolution or agreement without having to use a judge to decide on the divorce terms. The date time and format of the next meeting is agreed, including who will bring the necessary information to the next meeting, e.g. financial details. If any specialist advice is needed e.g. financial advice, it is agreed whether any advisers need to attend the next meeting and who will arrange for that to happen.

There are usually several subsequent meetings at which details of the final divorce terms will be agreed. These terms include financial arrangements, and how to handle child custody. Once you have agreed on the terms your lawyers will draw up the final agreement and schedule a last meeting to allow the agreement to be reviewed and signed.

If at the final meeting any further action is needed, what this is will be agreed along with a schedule to ensure these actions are quickly carried out. If on the other hand everyone is happy with the agreement it will be signed there and then.

Both of the lawyers involved need to be specially trained in collaborative law. In addition to knowing the law they are trained to help their clients to remain calm, listen and to prevent the process becoming combative. This approach usually leads to a quicker and much less acrimonious divorce. They do not act as mediators, only as enablers. Generally the process works well, especially in cases that involve children who respond to the fact that their parents are calmer and less combative than other parents when going through a divorce.

Looking to hire a gooddivorce solicitor? Visit Lee & Priestly, the Yorkshire law firm who can advise on all aspects of divorce and family law.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Reed, Martha "Using Collaborative Family Law For A Divorce." Using Collaborative Family Law For A Divorce. 3 Jul. 2010. 3 Oct 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Reed, M (2010, July 3). Using Collaborative Family Law For A Divorce. Retrieved October 3, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Reed, Martha "Using Collaborative Family Law For A Divorce"

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