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’.
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.
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 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.
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.”
The Legal 500 2018 ranks the Family department highly and states that “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.”