Family

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Simon Craddock

Partner and Head of Family Banbury

Insolvency

Collaborative law

Collaborative law is an approach to dealing with issues involved when a relationship breaks down.  

It involves the parties and their specially trained solicitors working together to resolve issues and avoid court. The outcome should be an agreement, contained within a legally binding document. But if settlement cannot be reached, the case will head to court.

Brethertons is unique in this area; we have three trained collaborative lawyers. In fact, we were instrumental in setting up of local collaborative law organisations in the Midlands and in North Oxfordshire. It’s something we feel strongly about because we’ve seen the benefits it brings our customers. 

1.  What’s the process?
You and your partner must agree to try to resolve your issues without going to court. That’s the starting point. Then you must instruct specially trained collaborative lawyers.

Negotiations and discussions take place face-to-face with parties and their lawyers present. All paperwork and other types of evidence is aired and you will make decisions about your future and about your children. Lawyers are there to offer advice and guidance; you are in control of the process and the settlement you reach. 

A successful process concludes with a legally binding agreement which you must both adhere to. 

2. Is it for me?
Collaborative law doesn’t suit every person and every situation. It works best where the parties:
want to be in control of decisions 
want a dignified, non-aggressive resolution of issues
want to protect their children from protracted court proceedings
want to resolve matters in a cost-effective way
aren’t aiming for revenge. 

3.  What are the costs?
Time spent on your matter will be charged by the hour, and the cost really depends on the number meetings and issues involved. Collaborative law is often more cost-effective than court action, and that’s the incentive many people need to give it a try. 

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