As you will have seen from previous posts, I along with my colleague Justine Osmotherley are both collaboratively trained. This means that we are able to deal with family cases in a conciliatory way, working as a team with the separating family and the other lawyers and professionals. The difference in dealing with matters in this way as opposed to the more traditional adversarial approach is significant. The process is client led and all discussions take place in meetings of the clients and lawyers together. It is an entirely open process and all parties are contractually bound from the outset that they will remain within the process until a solution is found. If the process breaks down, the clients have to walk away from their respective solicitors and instruct other representation. Obviously there is a significant costs impact on this and therefore there is a real incentive to "stick with it".
It is sometimes difficult to get across to people the benefits of the collaborative process where it is likely to be suitable. Due to the confidentiality between solicitor and client, not every client who goes through the process wants to be involved in telling their story to the public, no matter how successful the outcome.
However, there is little substitute for hearing a first hand experience of a process that is just about breaking through into the awareness of the general public.
I therefore attach a link to an article published originally in the Daily Mail that is a very clear report of the collaborative process from someone who has been through it first hand. If you would like any more information about the collaborative process or any other aspect of family law please call me on 0113 336 3349.
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