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Collaborative divorce



The breakdown of a marriage is painful whether you are the one actively seeking an end to the union or responding to the request. Working through the divorce proceedings can be made slightly easier by choosing a collaborative route says Rebecca Silcock of Mogers Drewett

Collaborative divorce is increasingly becoming the favored way to divorce as opposed to going directly to the Court. The process in its truest form is exactly as it says on the tin – collaborative.   The process involves meeting with your former partner and each of you having your lawyers present to discuss issues around a table.

Essentially the solicitors do not correspond in the traditional way instead everyone meets whenever there is a need to negotiate. This means we all hear the same words at the same time. Advice can be given and discussed.   This is a far more flexible approach than using the Court and both parties can decide on an agenda of issues in advance of the meetings. Face to face discussions are more open and honest and help achieve a constructive solution that is tailored to the parties’ needs.

Where necessary professionals are also brought in to help the process for example relationship counsellors and coaches can help with the emotions and steer each party away from self-destructive emotions. This can be particularly helpful where children are involved to help with the arrangements. Financial experts are often consulted for advice on pensions and particularly where company share valuations are required.

While collaborative divorce still may not be easy, the end result is that everyone comes out the other end with a better chance of retaining their dignity, role as parents and far better placed to move on to the next stage of their lives without bitterness.

Family Dispute Resolution Week takes place next month and while it may appear an odd choice for a national awareness week, its aim is for family lawyers to promote more constructive alternatives to Court for separating couples and their families.