Collaborative Family Law

Making suitable arrangements following a divorce or separation can often prove to be very challenging, especially where you have complicated financial ties, or you need to decide who your children will live and spend time with. Collaborative law can be an effective method for overcoming these hurdles, while keeping conflict to a minimum.

Clear advice to help secure the best outcome

You may, understandably, be feeling worried about what the future is likely to hold following a divorce or separation. While the prospect of starting collaborative law proceedings may initially appear daunting, it is likely to be a much more straightforward and less contentious approach than court proceedings.

At WSP Solicitors, our expert team of collaborative family law solicitors will be able to guide you through the Collaborative Law process and act as your legal representative during collaborative law proceedings to help you reach a positive solution.

We are members of Resolution, and accredited specialists with the Family Law and Children Law Panels, reflecting our high level of expertise in handling even the most sensitive matters. Our team includes two specially trained collaborative solicitors who will be able to support you during proceedings.

While collaborative family law can be a suitable option for many couples, it isn’t going to be right for everyone. If you and your former partner are on amicable terms, and you are both ready to work with one another to reach an agreement, our family law solicitors can help you with ‘Resolution Together’.

Resolution Together (also known as One Solicitor, One Divorce) works differently to standard collaborative law. With Resolution Together, our solicitors can represent both you and your former partner at the same time, helping to reduce conflict and encouraging a swift resolution.

To find out more, and learn how our solicitors can help you with this, see our page on Resolution Together.

Contact our collaborative law solicitors in Gloucestershire

For expert support with collaborative law, please contact your local WSP family law solicitors in Gloucester or Stroud today.

If you have a quick question about our collaborative family law services, or would like to request a callback, you can also use our simple online enquiry form.

Our collaborative law services

Preparing for collaborative law

If you are going through a divorce or separation, you are likely to have a wide range of matters that need to be resolved.

From untangling your finances, through to deciding who keeps the family home and where your children will live, you and your former partner may not agree on everything right away. That is where collaborative law can prove to be an effective method for dealing with relationship breakdown.

If you are unsure what to do next, our collaborative divorce lawyers can assess your situation in detail and advise you on the most sensible course of action. This will include assessing whether your case would benefit from collaborative law.

If we think that collaborative law is right for your situation, we can then work with you to outline how the process would work and arrange for a member of our team to act as a collaborative lawyer on your behalf.

Representing you during collaborative law proceedings

During collaborative law, you and your former partner will both be supported by your own legal representatives. During collaborative law meetings you and your former partner will look to agree on making agreements that sufficiently meet the needs of both parties.

Our collaborative family law solicitors can step in to work alongside you, as well as your former partner and their own legal representative. Over the course of various sessions, we will explore a number of options that encourage a collaborative approach and reduce any potential conflict that could otherwise serve to undermine proceedings.

Finalising agreements made during collaborative law

Any agreements made during collaborative law will not be automatically legally binding. This means that, if there are any future disagreements, you will not be in a position to rely on what was arranged through collaborative law.

You will, however, have the option of making a collaborative family law agreement legally binding by applying to the courts for a consent order. This is something our team can support you with, ensuring that the agreement is fair to both parties while also protecting your interests.

Alternatives to collaborative family law

There may be a situation where collaborative law simply is not appropriate for your situation. This may be because your former partner is unwilling to engage in amicable discussions, or the arrangements that need to be made are far too volatile.

If collaborative law is not right for you, we can work with you to establish an alternative course of action, such as mediation. We can also intervene to support you if it appears that taking a matter to court is the only available course of action to secure the right result.

Collaborative family law FAQs

What is collaborative family law?

Collaborative family law is a legal process which provides divorcing or separating couples with an opportunity to make certain arrangements outside of a formal court setting.

What does the collaborative law process involve?

Collaborative law will involve both parties appointing their own respective collaborative lawyers to assist them with negotiations surrounding the practical details of their divorce, dissolution or separation.

Collaborative family law usually takes place over the course of several meetings (either virtual or in person), where the issues will be set out and suitable arrangements will be made.

Collaborative family law will be governed by a collaborative agreement. This is signed by both parties and their respective collaborative lawyers and commits everyone to making arrangements at their own pace, and without the threat of court proceedings.

The collaborative agreement prevents both collaborative divorce lawyers from representing their clients during court proceedings. This helps to ensure that all parties are fully committed to making the process a success.

What happens after an agreement is reached through collaborative law?

After an agreement is reached through collaborative family law, both parties will essentially have two options at their disposal. They can either choose to take no further action, and use the arrangement as a guide for the change in circumstances, or they can solidify the arrangements by applying to the courts for a legally binding consent order.

What happens if an agreement cannot be reached through collaborative law?

If it is not possible to reach an agreement after going through the collaborative divorce process, then there may be alternative options which can be explored. Depending on the circumstances, it may be beneficial to consider mediation, or if the matter is particularly contentious, applying directly to court to find a resolution may be in your best interests.

Is collaborative divorce the same as mediation in the UK?

No. While there are some similarities between collaborative family law and mediation, there are some important differences which you should be aware of.

Mediation, like collaborative law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution that focuses on productive discussions between both parties in a divorce, dissolution or separation. However, the key difference is that mediation does not directly involve and lawyers or solicitors during meetings.

Mediation sessions are overseen by a qualified mediator, who acts as a neutral third party to facilitate the discussions and ensure both parties have an equal say in the final outcome. They do not provide any specific legal advice or take sides.

You can learn more about our expertise with mediation here.

How much does collaborative law cost?

The legal costs of collaborative divorce will largely depend on the complexity of the matter and the length of time it takes to reach an agreement. We understand how important costs are likely to be, and we can advise you on an estimate during an initial meeting with our team

Contact our collaborative law solicitors in Gloucestershire

For expert support with collaborative law, please contact your local WSP family law solicitors in Gloucester or Stroud today.

If you have a quick question about our collaborative family law services, or would like to request a callback, you can also use our simple online enquiry form.


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