Collaborative Law

Collaborative law avoids the uncertain outcome of court. It allows couples to achieve a settlement that best meets their specific needs and those of their children without the underlying threat of litigation.

Collaborative Law is a team based approach, combining the complimentary strengths of your family lawyer, and where appropriate financial advisers, accountants, counsellors…

It’s a voluntary process that can be used to facilitate a broad range of other family issues, including disputes between parents and the drawing up of pre and post-marital contracts. As the traditional method of drawing up pre-marital contracts is oppositional, many couples prefer to begin their married life with documents drawn up consensually and mutually.

A Collaborative divorce also has the added benefit of being cost efficient. As the necessary tasks in the collaborative model are assigned to specialist professionals without duplication of effort, cost savings are realized.

Is it for me ?

Divorce or the ending of a long-term relationship is a sensitive and personal matter. No single approach is right for everyone. Many couples find Collaborative Practice to be a welcome alternative to the often destructive, and sometimes very expensive aspects of court proceedings.

If the following values are important to you and strike a chord with you, then the Collaborative Process is likely to be a workable option for you:

I want us to communicate with respect.

I want to prioritise the needs of our children.

My needs and those of my spouse/partner require equal consideration, and I will listen objectively.

I believe that working creatively and cooperatively resolves issues.

It is important to reach beyond today’s frustration and pain to plan for the future.

I can behave ethically toward my spouse/partner.

I choose to maintain control of the divorce/separation process with my spouse/partner, and not relegate it to the courts.

If this path reflects your own thinking, we suggest that you talk to one of our local family lawyers about your own situation. A Collaborative professional can help you decide if the Collaborative Process is the right alternative for you and your family.

How it works

You and your partner have decided that the collaborative process is for you. What can you expect to happen next?

  • You will meet individually with your lawyers to talk about what to expect in the collaborative meetings – usually referred to as ‘four way’ meetings as they are meetings between you and your partner and your respective lawyers.
  • You and your lawyer will discuss what you both need to do in order to prepare for the first ‘four way’ meeting, as will your partner and your partner’s lawyer.

The 1st Four Way Meeting:

  • At the first four way meeting the lawyers will make sure that you both understand that you are making a commitment to working out an agreement without going to court and you will all four sign an agreement to this effect.
  • You and your partner will be invited to share your own objectives in choosing this process and you will all plan the process. This will depend on your own individual circumstances but might typically include a discussion about how the children are responding to the separation.
  • If time permits you may also go on to discuss how financial information will be shared and agree on who will bring what financial information to the next meeting.

Subsequent meetings:

These will deal with you and your partner’s particular priorities and concerns.

You might, for instance, look at involving other professionals such as specialists in pensions and financial planning or people trained to assist children in understanding and coping with the changes that your divorce or separation will bring to their lives. The meetings will enable you to reach agreement on how the finances will be shared or what arrangements need to be made for any children.

The final meeting:

In the final meeting documents detailing the agreements you have reached will be signed and your lawyers will talk you through anything else that needs to be done in order to implement those agreements. Sometimes a firm timetable for implementation will not be possible, for instance, if the family house needs to be sold.

How long does it all take?

One of the benefits of the collaborative process is that it’s not driven by a timetable imposed by the court. So to a large extent the process can be built around your family’s individual timetable and priorities, as these meetings follow agendas set by you and your partner.

Sometimes only a couple of meetings are needed, in other cases four or five. Once an agreement is reached, your lawyers will put it into effect, obtaining a court order where needed.

About Us

Black Country Collaborative Family Law Group is a team of leading family lawyers and associated professionals serving people from the Black Country and surrounding areas.

All of us are committed to helping couples resolve their differences and achieve solutions without going to court.

You can find out more about and contact directly our local professionals by selecting the appropriate specialism below:

Family Lawyer:  Brierley Hill, Stourbridge, Telford, Wolverhampton

Other Professionals: Financial Adviser      Accountant 

Fellow Professionals

Joining the Black Country Collaborative Group enables you to be part of a growing community that is actively promoting the benefits of collaborative family law.

Being part of our group provides opportunities for you to meet, share experiences with and learn from your peers about how to support more people and families through the collaborative process.

It also allows you to access CPD-accredited soft skills training across a range of topics.

Through the group you can enhance your and your firm’s online presence through web listings and access to regular blog posts and be part of a social networking community.

For more information about joining, speak to our Pod Liaison Officer