Collaborative Law – Introduction
Collaborative Law is an out of court process involving both parties and their collaboratively trained solicitor. Each party instructs their own family solicitor who is also a trained collaborative specialist.
The case is conducted by the parties meeting face-to-face with their collaborative solicitors through a series of ‘four way’ meetings. There is no minimum or maximum number of meetings, but on average most cases involve three to four meetings.
The solicitors communicate between the meetings in order to plan and progress the case on behalf of the parties. Each party can secure legal advice from their own solicitor at any stage during this process, both at the four way meetings and also between meetings.
Why choose collaborative law?
This process is designed to reduce conflict between separating couples, and to provide for more workable and permanent solutions for families and their children.
This is very much a client led process, in which the parties set the pace, timetables and agendas for the meetings.
The parties and their solicitors jointly commit to the process by signing a ‘participation agreement’ during the first meeting which includes an absolute prohibition on Court proceedings being commenced whilst the process is ongoing. This agreement focusses the parties, and their solicitors, on trying to reach an appropriate settlement of the issues within the process rather than through the contentious court route. If the process breaks down, the parties will need to instruct new solicitors from different practices, which could cause delay and extra costs to the parties.
The collaborative solicitors will assist the parties to think creatively and constructively to find fair solutions. The parties agree to be open and honest about their circumstances, and in the case of financial issues, agree to provide full and frank disclosure within the process.
In some cases other professionals, including family consultants, mediators and financial advisors can broaden the advice and guidance which the couple can access during the process.
Nicola Coppinger trained in collaborative law through Resolution in 2010. Nicola is a partner and specialist in family law.
Nicola is a member of the White Rose collaborative law pod. This is network of local family law collaborative solicitors who meet regularly to review and develop this area of work. The success of collaborative law depends on the solicitors being able to work together and communicate effectively, which in turn provides for successful outcomes to this process.
Contact Nicola Coppinger our Collaborative Law Specialist Solicitors in Wakefield on either 01924 332 395 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Nicola is happy to discuss the collaborative process over the phone or to arrange a free initial interview to discuss whether the collaborative law process is right for you. Nicola is happy to travel to our Pontefract office to see clients and our Pontefract office can be contacted on 01977 705762.