Collaborative family law is an alternative way of dealing with relationship breakdown. Traditionally when couples separate, they each take independent advice from specialist family lawyers and try to reach agreement over how to best settle their differences. Where couples cannot reach agreement, it is left to the family courts to decide, which can lead to heartache and uncertainty. Collaborative family law is different.
You and your spouse or partner sit down together in the same room with the help of your own, specially trained collaborative lawyer, and you work it out, face-to-face. Rather than dealing through your family lawyers, you work with them to reach the best solution possible for you and your family.
The real cost of relationship breakdown is not merely financial, although anyone who has been through the process will know how costly court battles over splitting assets can be. It is also the personal and emotional turmoil that so often accompanies the end of relationships. An acrimonious divorce can leave lasting scars, not just on the separating couple, but on their children, their extended family and support network. We commit to adopting a non-confrontational approach to divorce and encourage couples to seek shared solutions and to reach agreement. The process can also apply to same sex relationships or unmarried couples who are facing separation and can be used to resolve any other family disputes.
Simon Thomas has practiced in collaborative family law for over 10 years and so offers a wealth of experience to clients who are considering attempting to reach agreement with their spouse or partner over financial and/or children related matters following a separation. In nearly all cases Simon has dealt with adopting the collaborative law model, he has helped clients to achieve an outcome that avoids the Court process and enables couples to still have a working relationship long after they have separated, not least when there are children involved and the need for couples to still co-parent effectively.
Our approach to problem solving maximises the options and minimises the friction between the couple. Each of you has the support, protection and guidance of your lawyer. The crucial difference between collaborative family law and the more traditional way of dealing with a divorce is that the lawyers agree they are there to help you through the collaborative process; they are not there to take the case to Court and are prohibited from doing so. If an agreed outcome cannot be reached then the two lawyers must bow out.
We provide all the professional expertise you would expect. This includes, if necessary, calling on advice from family consultants and financial experts, all of whom have undergone specific training to enable them to provide advice and support to separating couples through the collaborative process.
With your partner, you set the agenda. You work at the pace at which you feel comfortable. You commit to full disclosure and all talk openly about the issues that matter to you.