If you do not want a court to decide how your money is divided and how future arrangements for your children can be made then the collaborative process may be for you. The purpose of the Collaborative process is for the parties themselves with the assistance of their lawyers to reach their own fair solution, without the cost, uncertainty and potential acrimony of the traditional court process.
After the first meeting between you and your lawyer a series of four-way meetings are arranged with your partner and his or her collaborative lawyer. Meetings largely follow this pattern until matters are resolved when the court can be approached at that stage to approve the arrangements you have made yourselves. All negotiations take place at the face to face meetings. Whilst you are in the process you make a commitment not to go to court. In the event that negotiations break down and it is necessary to issue an application to court, you and your partner will have to instruct new lawyers. This means everyone in the process is fully committed and motivated to trying to seek a fair resolution.
Independent financial advisers or accountants can also be brought into the 4 way meetings by agreement between you and your partner and lawyers so as to give independent professional advice to the meeting on any relevant issues that arise. If you want to maintain a working relationship for the future in a non-aggressive and amicable way then Collaborative law may be an option worth considering.