When going through a divorce, many couples want to minimise the stress of the process and work through it without going to court. This can be achieved by what’s known as collaborative law – a process where both parties and their lawyers work together to resolve disputes without having to drag each other through a lengthy court case. So what are the benefits of collaborative law – and what does it entail?
Obviously, the first and main benefit of using collaborative law is that both parties get to avoid court. At the beginning of the process, both participants sign an agreement which states they commit to resolving their divorce entirely outside of the courts – this can help reduce the stress of the situation and keep things amicable between parties.
Collaborative lawyers can help with the negotiations between their client and their soon-to-be-ex-spouse. In regular divorce mediation, lawyers don’t get directly involved with the negotiations – but with a collaborative lawyer, the client has a partner with a cool head, a thorough understanding of family law, and enough detachment from the situation to make good decisions.
Collaborative law is faster and more effective. Sitting everyone down at once and sorting out key issues saves time, and is much faster than having solicitors exchange letters or emails. For those who want their divorce over quickly and painlessly, this can be a real benefit.
Move at your own pace
Rather than having dates and hearings dictated by a court, collaborative law allows a divorce to play out on the clients’ terms, in their own time. If they have certain deadlines they wish to meet (the end of a school term, a public holiday, an upcoming business trip) they can make all of the arrangements on their own timeline.
Rather than airing dirty laundry in a public court, collaborative law allows clients to get through a divorce with some dignity. They can work out the details of their divorce and come to terms with any allegations against one another in a private space, complete with legal advice, instead of having their private life made public in court.
In cases where children are involved, it’s often important to keep both parties on good terms with one another. Many parents want to maintain a healthy relationship with their ex-spouse for the sake of their children’s wellbeing, but lengthy court battles can lead to conflict and negative feelings. Collaborative law helps parents to keep their good relationship and communicate with each other honestly, rather than sniping at one another through lawyers and court dates.