Collaborative Law – What you need to know
20th October, 2017
Collaborative Law – Explained
Earlier in the year, Sandy Edwards, Family Law Senior Associate at Aaron & Partners solicitors joined a colleague of the Shropshire Chamber Oswestry Breakfast Club for a radio interview on Calon FM to discuss, in simple terms, what the Collaborative Law process involves and how it actually works.
Heather Noble who volunteers at Calon FM asked what is Collaborative Law?
Sandy explained :-
“With any relationship breakdown there are various ways you can deal with things. You can sit around the kitchen table and sort it out amongst yourselves, which is clearly going to be the cheapest way although you still need a court order; you can go to what’s called mediation – which involves sitting round a table with a trained mediator, if you need legal advice you come out of that process to get it but the collaborative process is slightly different.”
Sandy went on :-
“…in the collaborative process we sign an agreement that we are not going to court – we all sign it …the lawyers for both parties and the clients. Then we have a series of what are called fourway meetings, so the lawyers are there and the clients are there and we endeavour to reach a settlement. Legal advice is given openly by both lawyers because the law is the law. …the other alternative is negotiation through solicitors which involves correspondence passing between solicitors and then there’s obviously court. The beauty of the collaborative process is that it is much cheaper than litigation, a lot less antagonistic, and the speed at which it can be done”.
Heather was also keen to understand who is actually involved other than the solicitors and the individuals concerned?
Sandy explained :-
“We will quite often involve other people as well, I am a part of the Shropshire collaborative lawyers group and we have a Family Consultant who is one of our members. If, for example, the couple have got children and they need to decide how they’re going to tell the children about the relationship breakdown then she can help. Very often one party is not quite in the same place as the other one – in terms of coming to terms with what is happening and a Family Consultant can also help with that. We also involve Financial Advisors because some aspects of matrimonial finances are actually quite complicated, even for the lawyers, such as pensions. We can involve whoever we need to involve, to reach an agreement”.
Finally, Heather asked Sandy to summarise as to why a couple should choose the Collaborative Process?
Sandy concluded :-
“The beauty of it is the transparency; it’s all out on the table and everybody knows everything. At the same time it is all confidential, part of the agreement we sign is obviously concerned with the confidentiality, it doesn’t go out of the room, and yet it gives an opportunity to discuss matters openly”
The Next Steps
How to get in touch with Sandy Edwards
If anyone reading this piece feels that this is something they would like to know a little more about then please contact Sandy using the details below. Sandy offers a free 30 minute interview for any new potential collaborative clients. This enables her to meet them, give them some advice and see whether she can assist. For further information on the Shropshire collaborative lawyers group of which Sandy is Chair please click here
Tel: 01743 453689
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