Collaborative Law

When relationships stop working, we can start helping.

Relationship breakdown is upsetting enough in itself but for many it’s the inevitable conclusion – the legal process of separation and divorce – that they fear most.

There is always the risk of the ‘bad divorce’ – an inability to agree, protracted Court proceedings, rising costs and growing anger, bitterness and distress. Collaborative Law may not be able to offer any guarantees over avoiding the ‘bad’ but it greatly increases the chances of securing the ‘good’ – and helping everyone on their way to a life after divorce.

It offers the opportunity for both parties with their respective solicitors to come together to work out mutually acceptable terms for the separation – without involving the Courts to make decisions on your behalf.

A formal Participation Agreement sets out the way in which the discussions and negotiations will be conducted but the emphasis is on normal, constructive conversations in an open and supportive environment. It is not meant as a short cut as everything is considered as closely as it would be in normal Court-driven proceedings; but it does have the advantage of the parties working to their own timetable and reaching outcomes that are jointly agreed rather than simply imposed by others.

How we can help

Our Collaborative lawyers can assist clients to reach comprehensive and realistic settlements, to include:

We will aim to achieve the best possible settlement within the spirit of the collaborative agreement laying a strong foundation for the achievement of a ‘good divorce’ through cooperation and communication, whilst minimising the costs – both emotional and financial – of divorce proceedings.

Costs

We offer all family clients a free initial 30 minute appointment.

This will allow us to assess your case and advise you on the most appropriate course of action, whilst also explaining any costs that would be involved and identifying whether a fixed fee service would be an option for you.

The Collaborative Law team

Our Collaborative Law team is a skilled group of people. This is no place for the customary adversarial approach of one party against another; it requires the ability to see all points of view and understand subtleties as well as practicalities, processing what is heard and seen into the right outcomes for everyone. Our lawyers are sensitive but pragmatic, driven by the need to get the best possible agreement but mindful of the often complex emotions and dynamics in play.

The Collaborative Law team are part of the Family Law department at Howells.

The Howells team is one of the best in the country. It has been consistently highly ranked for family work in the north, and is overseen by the hugely respected and much admired Alyson Siddall. Alyson has developed a group of many talents but with shared values. Tough and resolute in their legal representation, sensitive and compassionate in their client relationships, the team understand that they’re not dealing with ‘cases’ but with people, not bound up in legal process but in real lives.

Chambers UK 2018
Howells was highly ranked as a law firm for Family Law by Chambers UK 2018. The prestigious guide said Howells is “Increasingly active in dealing with high net worth cases and child abduction cases over the past year. Bolstered by a designated mediation and collaborative law group.”

Legal 500 2018
The Legal 500 2018 ranks the Family department highly and states that Howells is “Howells handles the full spectrum of matrimonial work and children law matters. Alyson Siddall is ‘hugely experienced but always still keen to learn’, and heads the department which benefits from individuals based across Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley. Siddall is regularly instructed in complex financial arrangements and has additional expertise in private children matters and collaborative law. Sharon Lockwood is another key name to note for financial work, while Sarah Walker is highlighted for childcare matters.”

Please click here to view the family law department staff profiles.