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Collaborative Law

Collaborative law is modern, forward thinking way of dealing with relationship breakdown. Traditionally when couples split, they each take independent advice from specialist family lawyers and try to reach agreement of how best to settle their differences. Where couples can't reach agreement, it is left to the family courts to decide, which can lead to heartache and uncertainty.  But collaborative law is different.

Collaborative law agreements

Collaborative law is a great alternative. You and your partner sit down all together in the same room with the help of your own specially trained collaborative law solicitors, and you work out a settlement face-to-face. Rather than dealing through your familiy solicitors, you work with them to reach the best solution for you and your family.

Why collaborative law could be good for your situation:

  • You still benefit from having your own independent solicitor but you are in control, without the threat of court proceedings hanging over you
  • It's quicker because it's not driven by a timetable imposed by the court.  It can be built around your family's individual timetable and priorities and you can talk about the things that matter most to you and your family
  • Collaborative law agreements can be cheaper than battling through the courts
  • It's more amicable, especially important if you have children and you need an on-going relationship afterwards. It will help your children to cope better with your separation if they see that you are working things out together
  • You each have your own specially trained collaborative law solicitor by your side and you meet together in four-way meetings. Instead of conducting negotiations remotely by letter or phone, you can talk things over and work out the details face-to-face
  • Most importantly, the key decisions you make about your future are yours - they are not imposed on you by the courts.

What it needs to make collaborative law work:

  • A genuine desire to make it work
  • A willingness to disclose, fully and honestly, information about all assets
  • Skilled solicitors who have been trained in collaborative law
  • An agreement upfront that you will reach a solution without going to court. Collaborative law agreements disqualifies your lawyer from representing you in court if the process breaks down. That means they are absolutely committed to helping you find the best solutions by agreement, rather than through conflict

Collaborative law encourages a holistic approach to relationship breakdown, so if appropriate you and your lawyers can work together with other professionals such as counsellors, mediators, child or financial specialists to assist you. When agreement is reached, the court will deal with the endorsement of collaborative law agreements in the form of an order which is binding and enforceable, in the same way as if it had been arrived at within formal court proceedings.

  • The family law team at Phillips Solicitors welcomes informal telephone enquiries about collaborative law on 01256 460830.
  • To find out more about collaborative law, please contact Rob Parker directly on 01256 854 604 or email Rob here.
  • Download our frequently asked questions here

"Relationship breakdown is complicated and fraught with emotion, so I really valued having Rob's clear explanations and constant support. I hadn't heard of Collaborative Law before but it certainly helped us to settle things without having to battle through the courts."  H.B., Basingstoke

Rob Parker is the chair of the North Hampshire Collaborative Pod. More details about collaborative law and the pod members can be found at http://www.resolution.org.uk/northhantspod/