Disputes: The Collaborative Process

The collaborative process is all about reaching solutions together, to ease the pain of family breakdown.

Traditionally, when couples split, they each take independent advice from specialist family lawyers. Liaising via their lawyers, they try to reach an agreement on how best to settle their differences. They work out how to share the assets and the responsibilities, everything from the house to the children– as they each go their separate ways.

The collaborative process involves you and your former partner sitting down with the collaborative practitioners you have each appointed, in the same room, to work things out face-to-face. Rather than dealing through your solicitors, you work with them, to reach the best solutions for you and your family. Sometimes, talking things through can seem the hardest challenge of all, however with the support of your lawyers you can find solutions that you work out for yourselves.

Is the collaborative process right for you?

The collaborative process is suitable for couples who have;

  • a genuine desire to reach an agreement that is fair for the whole family

  • a willingness to disclose, fully and honestly, information about all assets

  • commitment to reaching a solution without going to court

What are the benefits of the collaborative process?

  • You still benefit from having your own independent legal adviser.

  • You are in control, without the threat of court proceedings hanging over you.

  • You set the agenda, so you talk about the things that matter most to you and your family.

  • You set the pace – because you are not governed by court dates and appearances.

  • You maintain contact with your former partner. That way, you have the best chance of understanding each other, and finding the right solutions.

  • Remember, if children are involved, you will both remain parents, and it will help your children to cope better with your separation if they see that you are working things out together.

  • Most importantly, the key decisions you make about your future are yours – they are not made by a stranger in a courtroom.

  • Your lawyer will be by your side every step of the way.

  • You can choose to involve a family consultant, child specialist, financial adviser, accountant or a collaboratively trained barrister who would act as a neutral expert, for example. All these professionals will collectively make up your ‘collaborative team’.

Contact Us

To discuss the options open to you for Family mediation, please email fwilson@lawson-west.co.uk who will be able to provide initial guidance about the process.

You can find out more about Resolution here.