Collaborative law is a process which is a hybrid between mediation and round table negotiations conducted between solicitors.
If you wish to sort out financial issues arising from separation and your objective is to do so in an amicable, fair and balanced way, then this can be an option for you.
Each of you has your own solicitor, and you have discussions in four way meetings, with the expectation that all four people take part in the discussions.
The focus is on discussions which take place face to face, so as to avoid exchanges of solicitors’ correspondence, which can be negative or damaging since they can have a sharper interpretation than intended, and make relationships more strained.
Collaborative law is aimed at achieving an outcome which is acceptable to both of you. If it is not possible to reach such an agreement, and you need the assistance of the court to reach an outcome, then the collaborative lawyers withdraw and do not take any further part in the proceedings. This is so that there is no concern that the lawyers may be seen to have a vested interest in the talks breaking down.
Enda Lavery is a trained collaborative lawyer and has had experience working in this field.