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At Dutton Gregory we have four solicitors who practice collaborative law.
This is a relatively new form of resolution procedure and involves an understanding and agreement at the outset that neither couple will resort to the court to resolve their differences.
It is mainly used to work out a settlement between a divorcing couple (although it need not be confined to a married couple; former cohabitants can also benefit) to work out the financial arrangements following their separation.
The process is governed by what is known as a Participation Agreement whereby both parties sign up to an agreement saying that they will treat each other with respect, enter into negotiations in a constructive manner and will not resort to the court process. It involves a series of ‘four way meetings’ where the parties and their solicitors (and any other professional advisors that are considered necessary) sit around a table and work things through, with the objective of arriving at a final solution after a series of meetings.
It is designed to give the participants control of the process.
The most important factor to remember when using the collaborative law process is that if negotiations reach deadlock that can only be resolved by applying to the court for a judicial decision, then in those circumstances both solicitors have to withdraw and the parties have to find new solicitors. Clearly that can involve considerable additional expense as well as having to build trust and faith in a new solicitor.
It is therefore a powerful incentive for the parties to use their best endeavours to reach an agreement.
This route is not for everyone but an early appointment with a Dutton Gregory Collaborative Solicitor will establish whether your case is suitable for the collaborative process of whether a different form of resolution is required.
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