collaborative law

Collaborative law

Collaborative Law was introduced to this Country from North America in September 2003 and has enjoyed a rise in popularity as a recognized way of resolving disputes, without the stress and uncertainty of Court proceedings. Ros Reynolds is one of the small number of Collaborative Lawyers practising in Worcestershire and the Welsh Marches area.

Collaborative practice involves the couple meeting together with their lawyers (both of whom are trained in the Collaborative process) and signing up to an agreement which sets out the long term objectives of the couple, such as putting the needs of the children first, and coming out of the process still able to talk to their partner in a civilized way. It is a fundamental part of the Collaborative process that all parties agree that they will not resort to Court proceedings, but will instead resolve matters through discussion and if necessary by bringing in outside help from other professionals such as Counsellors, Accountants, Barristers and Financial Advisors.

Both parties exchange financial information, and the focus of the meetings will generally turn to working out the different options available to the couple and how they will work in practice, before deciding to move forward.

Discussions take place in meetings attended by both the parties and their lawyers. No topic is barred, and the object is to thrash out concerns and long terms plans face to face in a constructive and non-confrontational manner.

As part of the process the Collaborative Lawyers consider with their client whether there is a need to involve other professional help such as:
  • Trained Counsellors i.e. for emotional issues or to improve communication
  • Child Experts either to help the children direct or to advise on any particular child related matter
  • Accountants or Financial Advisors to advise on business, tax and pensions
  • Surveyors to advise on property value

It is not a process that is suited to everyone but it is one that all should consider given the benefits of avoiding the considerable uncertainty, cost and stress associated with Court proceedings.