What is the collaborative process?
Under the collaborative process, each person appoints their own collaboratively trained lawyer and you and your respective lawyers all meet together to work things out face to face. Both of you will have your lawyer by your side throughout the process and so you will have their support and legal advice as you go.
You and your lawyers sign an agreement that commits you to trying to resolve the issues without going to court and prevents them from representing you in court if the collaborative process breaks down. That means all are absolutely committed to finding the best solutions by agreement, rather than through court proceedings.
How does the collaborative process work?
You've both met with your respective lawyers, discussed the different options and processes available and decided that the collaborative process is for you. What can you expect to happen next?
You will both meet individually with your separate lawyers to talk about what to expect in the collaborative meetings which are usually referred
to as 'four way' meetings as they are meetings between the four of you - you and your partner and your respective lawyers. You and your lawyer will discuss what you both need to do in order to prepare for the first 'four way' meeting.
Your lawyer and your partner's lawyer will speak to each other either face to face or over the phone in order to plan for your first meeting. How long does the collaborative process take?
One of the benefits of the collaborative process is that it's not driven by a timetable imposed by the court. So to a large extent the process can be built around your family's individual timetable and priorities, as these meetings follow agendas set by you and your partner.
Sometimes only a couple of meetings are needed, in other cases four or five. Once an agreement is reached, your lawyers will put it into effect, obtaining a court order where needed