By Tina Shah, Gilroy Steel Solicitors Traditionally, when couples split, they often feel that they need a ‘Rottweiler’ as a lawyer, when in truth all they really need is someone sensible. The collaborative process is not new, but it is surprising how many people have not heard about it. Rather than dealing through your solicitors, you work with them, to reach the best solutions for you and your family. You and your ex sit down with the collaborative lawyers you have each appointed, to work things out face-to-face. You can also involve other professionals in the process, such as a family consultant or financial adviser, so you create a team to provide you with the best support in the most cost-effective way. 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. Sometimes only a couple of meetings are needed, in other cases four or five. You will dictate how frequently the meetings happen. 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. They can bring in other independent and impartial advisers who are familiar with the collaborative process if and when that support is needed. 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’. You and your collaborative lawyers sign an agreement with you which disqualifies them from representing you in court if the collaborative process breaks down. That means they are absolutely committed to helping you find the best solutions by agreement, rather than through conflict. Once an agreement is reached, your solicitors will put it into effect, obtaining a court order where needed.
If you need advice or assistance in relation any family law matter or a relationship breakdown, please do not hesitate to contact Tina Shah at Gilroy Steel Solicitors, with offices in Buckingham, Brackley and Northampton, Tel: 01280 815538 www.gilroysteel.com Find us on Facebook: @GilroySteelFamilyLaw