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Collaborative divorce – a happy ending?

Going through a divorce or separation can be one of the most negative and challenging experiences in a person’s life. The emotional, financial and legal implications can be distressing and, at times, overwhelming. However it does not always need to be that way. Collaborative law can offer a low conflict, constructive and civilised alternative to traditional legal processes.

Collaborative law offers a more progressive and holistic approach to resolving the issues that stem from divorce and separation. It offers the opportunity to find more creative and flexible solutions than might come out of formal legal proceedings and allows couples to stay in control by focusing on the issues that are important to them, rather than the issues that a court might prioritise.

Collaborative law can also help separating couples stay on more amicable terms and can be instrumental in maintaining channels of communication – which are particularly important if children are involved.

The process is team-based, involving not only the divorcing couple and their solicitors, but potentially a number of other skilled professionals such as IFAs, divorce coaches and therapists. This multi-faceted approach empowers clients to make informed and positive decisions.

In my experience as a collaborative solicitor, the benefits to my clients have been wide-ranging and at times, unexpected. For example:

  • The process can be cathartic and, in some ways, quite liberating and therefore can have a positive impact on clients’ mental health and wellbeing (unlike court proceedings which are inherently stressful).
  • It is a completely private and confidential process, therefore clients do not have to air any ‘dirty laundry’ in public. On the other hand, a move towards greater transparency in the family courts means that privacy is not assured.
  • Many of my clients realise during the process that they are not quite as at loggerheads as they at first thought and the process can often be fairly quick. 
  • Sometimes it even transpires that both parties feel the same way about certain issues but just aren’t sure how to resolve the finer details. Collaborative law offers an agile way of ironing out any final issues.

Collaborative law is not suitable for all couples, but in many cases it can offer a way of divorcing in a constructive and family-focused way. We have a number of trained collaborative solicitors at Rayden Solicitors and can guide you through the process. With the right team around you, collaborative law can offer a happy ending to divorce. Please do not hesitate to contact us to find out more.

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