The department has a specialist accredited mediator and also the department is able, where parties are eligible, to undertake mediation on a Legal Aid basis.
How does Collaborative Law work in practice?
The objective of the Collaborative Law process is for the couple and their Collaborative Lawyers to find a solution together to whatever issue has arisen in a dignified and respectful way, having regard to what is in the best interests of their family.
Collaborative Law allows people to have a greater degree of influence over the outcome of whatever is in issue, and thereby more control over their futures. It also gives clients autonomy in that it is intended that those involved will be open to exploring different options and will consider alternative outcomes. This means that the process is not inhibited by constantly referring to ‘what the Court would do’, or ‘what my legal rights are’. Therefore the solutions that are reached in Collaborative Law tend to be much more individual, imaginative and tailored to the goals of the individuals involved.
The discussions take place in a series of ‘four-way meetings’ between the clients and their lawyers and correspondence is kept to a minimum. This often enables a much quicker solution than can be achieved through the Court process.
As part of this, all those involved in a Collaborative Law case (including the Lawyers) agree not to make, or even threaten to make, any applications to the Court. In the event that one party makes an application to the Court, the Collaborative Process ceases immediately. The Collaborative Lawyers are prohibited from representing either party within the subsequent Court proceedings. The couple must therefore engage new solicitors to deal with the Court application. This prohibition on resorting to or threatening to resort to Court proceedings acts as an incentive to all those involved to ensure that an agreement is reached.
The collaborative law route is about getting the right outcome for your family as a whole rather than negotiating for the most you can get regardless of the consequences.
The family department at Osbornes is committed to applying collaborative law methods in appropriate cases. For more information please download our collaborative law facts sheet. For more advice contact collaborative specialist Lisa Pepper
If you would like to discuss a family law matter with a member of our specialist team there are a number of ways to contact us.
Either fill in our online enquiry form and we will shortly call you back. Alternatively please call us on 020 7485 8811. Details of the whole family team are available on the family law teams’ page.