Collaborative law in divorce

The collaborative law process takes a non-confrontational approach to divorce and family matters. Each party appoints their own specialist collaborative lawyer, who will support and advise them through a process of face-to-face discussions.

Collaborative lawyers receive highly specialised training. Napthens’ own family law partner Helen Lucking is one of only a few lawyers in Lancashire who have trained and qualified in this specialist field.

Is collaborative law the right process for you?

Collaborative law has proven successful in dealing with potentially emotional situations without the need to go to Court. The process is less acrimonious, less expensive and quicker than court proceedings. This is because the parties involved work together with their solicitors to reach agreement, rather than having a decision imposed upon them.

The collaborative process

Both you and your spouse will need to appoint collaborative lawyers to represent you. Collaborative lawyers are trained by the legal group Resolution, an organisation which campaigns for improvements to the family justice system and promotes a constructive approach to family issues.

You will have an initial discussion with your lawyer so you understand what to expect and what will be needed to prepare for the process.

Four way meetings

Collaborative meetings are often called ‘four way’ meetings because they are between you, your partner and both of your lawyers.

The initial meeting will focus on ensuring both parties understand they are committing to working things out without going to court. Both of you will need to sign an agreement to this effect. You will use this initial meeting to agree your objectives including the detail of what will be covered and what information will be needed at future meetings.

Agendas for further meetings will, of course, depend on your personal circumstances and the specific issues involved. For example, you may have children to consider or need specialist advice on financial matters.

At the final four way meeting, you will be in a position to sign documents which outline the agreements you have reached. You will also be able to discuss the finer details so that both you and your partner are clear about what has been agreed.

How long does the collaborative divorce process take?

Unlike the court process, the timescale of the collaborative process is driven by the individuals involved and their particular issues and priorities.

This could mean only one or two meetings are required, but more will take place as necessary until agreement is reached. It is entirely dependent on your situation so there is no defined timescale.

How much do divorce services cost?

Why choose Napthens?

  • Highly experienced specialist lawyers
  • Approachable and empathetic
  • Clear, straightforward advice
  • Expertise in advising on complex financial matters
  • Offices in Lancashire, Cumbria, Southport and Merseyside