Going through a divorce can be an extremely difficult time both emotionally and financially. Fears and anxiety about the future are heightened both about the Divorce process and what will happen once the process has ended.
In the past the more traditional approach to Divorce has been for the parties to resolve their differences in the courtroom but increasingly with court delays and the closure of local courts this process can often lead to increased stress and cost to both parties.
The premise of dealing with a family case ‘collaboratively’ is for the parties to agree to achieve a settlement through collaboration as opposed to making an application to the Family Court.
In the collaborative process, each party instructs a specialist, collaboratively trained divorce lawyer and all negotiations and decision making takes place in a series of four way meetings attended by both parties and their divorce solicitors.
Control is given back to the parties in the divorce to set their own timetable and agenda for these meetings rather than a timetable being imposed by the court. As the parties have a direct input into the agenda they will each be able to discuss issues most pressing to them at an early stage of the collaborative divorce process. The meetings can also be timetabled for a time which best suits both of them.
It is possible to bring in experts to the four way meetings, where required, such as Independent Financial Advisers and/or Family Consultants to ensure that both parties have the correct assistance to help them make important decisions for the benefit of their family.
There is far more flexibility in the Collaborative process than the more traditional court process and so it can often lead to a speedier resolution of issues and therefore reduced divorce costs.
All communication takes place directly between the parties and their divorce solicitors instead of written communication which can sometimes be misconstrued or misunderstood.
If the parties have children it is essential that communication is maintained to enable the parents to be able to co-parent their children when they have completed the divorce process. One of the benefits of collaboration is being able to keep the children at the forefront of all discussions in the hope that the impact of the divorce on the children can be minimized.
There is still the obligation on the both parties to provide full disclosure of their financial positions to enable the parties to be fully informed before making any decisions. However, the process of providing this information is more informal and less restrictive than that prescribed within the court process.
Ultimately the collaborative divorce process hopefully ends with an agreement being reached between the parties which they have both worked towards together rather than a decision being imposed by one or more District Judges.
Holmes & Hills Solicitors has a team of divorce solicitors in Sudbury, Braintree, Halstead, Tiptree and Coggeshall. The team includes Sue Wardropper, a trained collaborative divorce solicitor. If you are interested in learning more about a collaborative approach to divorce, call Holmes & Hills Solicitors and make an appointment to see Sue Wardropper at one of our five offices across Essex and Suffolk.