While the end of a marriage is never a happy occasion, it doesn’t have to be contentious either. A couple can settle a divorce in several ways to avoid going to court, including using mediation or collaborative law that allows both sides to sit down and negotiate settlements. A solicitor who specialises in collaborative law can help you if you are seeking a divorce and want to end the marriage amicably.
Commitment to Settle
When a couple agrees to settle their divorce with collaborative law solicitors, they sign a binding agreement, called a participation agreement, stating their case will not go to court. Although the process usually involves the couple and their lawyers, other professionals that specialise in helping families may be a part of the process as well. However, four way meetings, which include the couple and their representatives, are held to negotiate the divorce settlement.
During the meetings, each side is able to seek advice from their solicitor as they try to reach agreements about any matter they are trying to resolve. This is different from mediation, as solicitors cannot give their clients advice while they are in mediation. These meetings can be used to settle matters such as child custody, the division of assets, alimony payments and child visitation. Any matter that a couple doesn’t agree on can be openly discussed and concluded using this process.
One of the main advantages of this process is that it opens up lines of communication between the divorcing couple. In many cases, when a marriage ends, communication has broken down and nothing gets settled because one or both sides refuse to speak to one another. However, this process brings both sides together to discuss what they want from the divorce, and then allows them to reach an amicable agreement without the interference from the courts.
No Set Timeline
When you use the collaborative law method for ending your marriage, there are no set timelines to reach a settlement. The parties can take the time they need to reach a settlement they both agree on with the help of family solicitors in the London area. They won’t be following a court docket, so they can work out all the details regarding the issues on which they are trying to decide.
Unlike court proceedings, which are public, the arrangements made during the collaborative process are completely private. Only both parties will know what arrangements they have made regarding alimony, asset distribution and child custody arrangements. If the couple is in the public eye, they needn’t worry about the end of their marriage becoming fodder for the press when using this type of divorce process.
Most people who have used the collaborative law method in their divorces are satisfied with the outcome. It allows them to negotiate with a solicitor at their side who can give them advice at any time. This keeps them from entering into agreements that they may later regret, while keeping the cost of the divorce under control.