During the Divorce process there is always the risk of the ‘bad divorce’. This is an inability to agree, lengthy Court proceedings, rising costs and growing anger and distress. Collaborative law may not be able to guarantee avoiding the ‘bad’ but it greatly increases the chances of securing the ‘good’.
Read MoreHow to Achieve a ‘Good Divorce’
What is Collaborative Law?
Collaborative law offers the opportunity for both parties, with their respective solicitors, to come together to work out mutually acceptable terms for a separation. The process avoids involving the Courts to make decisions on your behalf.
Collaborative law is an out of court option where you work through the various issues constructively with your ex partner. This is an amicable process with the personal support of your own solicitor.
During a four way meeting with the couple and the 2 collaborative specialists you amicably discuss, negotiate and agree on divorce matters, such as settlements and arrangements.
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.
Collaborative law is not meant as a short cut. 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.
The benefits of collaborative law are:
- It is a safe environment in which to talk and discuss the outcomes of a divorce
- You have the benefit of two specially trained lawyers working collaboratively with you, looking at what is best for you and your family
- Your own lawyer is there to support and advise you
- You set priorities and decide together how quickly or slowly you want to take things
How we can help
Our Collaborative lawyers can assist clients to reach comprehensive and realistic settlements, to include:
- Financial settlements
- Child residence, contact and maintenance
- Division of property and assets
- Pension arrangements, wills and trusts
- Pet custody
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.
Free Collaborative Law Consultation
Our Family Law team offer a free 30 minute consultation for new clients and flexible appointments.
Family Law Fees
Our Family Law team are transparent with their prices and offer a variety of fixed fees. These can be found here.
2 steps to contacting Howells:
We’ll listen carefully to you, clarify what you’re trying to achieve, and then explain if and how we can help you. We will take some initial information and liaise with a legal professional regarding your case. If it looks like we can help, we will book you in for a consultation with a legal professional.
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 Matrimonial team are one of the best in the country and one of the largest in South Yorkshire. It has been consistently highly ranked for family law work in the north, and is overseen by the hugely respected Alyson Siddall. The team are also Resolution accredited who recognise members that demonstrate excellence in the practice of family law.
Sensitive and compassionate in her client relationships, Alyson Siddal understands that she is not dealing with ‘cases’ but with people, not bound by legal process but in real lives. Furthermore, Alyson has been a key part of Howells Solicitors for over 30 years and offers a wealth of expertise and experience. Alyson and the Matrimonial team are highly ranked in the Legal 500 rankings, with specific feedback on Alyson which is “Alyson Siddall is a very experienced matrimonial lawyer who is personable and approachable in addition to being an excellent solicitor”.
Sharon Lockwood is a highly regarded Family Law and Divorce Solicitor in Rotherham, with a specialism at dealing with complex cases involving children and high value assets. Sharon is very active in the local community of South Yorkshire and receives a high amount of praise from her clients and colleagues and has established herself as one of the most distinguish divorce specialists in the region.
John Clegg is a family specialist and covers all aspects of Matrimonial law including Divorce, civil partnership and cohabitation breakdown, financial matters arising on separation and divorce, pre and post-nuptial agreements and protection from domestic abuse.
The Legal 500 2022 edition ranks Family as a top tier firm in Yorkshire and Humber, saying “Family head Alyson Siddall, matrimonial specialist Sharon Lockwood and children team head Sarah Walker are the key names at Howells Solicitors. Based in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley respectively, they oversea a team that is particularly well known for high net worth cases with assets ranging from three to six million pounds.
The firm recently expanded its department with the addition of a collaborative law facility. John Clegg is an additional name to note.”