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Collaborative Law

The 4 way meeting

If you wish to negotiate a settlement and feel unable to do this without help, collaborative family law could be an option for you.

You and your former spouse or partner have your own lawyer throughout the process to advise you and present your case. Your lawyer is trained in collaborative law and all meetings are held together in one room - often referred to as the ‘4 way meeting’.

You each commit that you will not start proceedings against the other unless you both agree to do so.  And you each agree that issues will only be progressed during the collaborative process. This can take up to 3 months, with meetings each week or fortnight.

Experts such as accountants, pension advisors, or those qualified in specific child issues can be brought in as, when and if required.

If an agreement is reached, you will be asked to sign a document setting out the details. You will also be advised by your own lawyer about anything that needs to be done to implement it. They then obtain the divorce decree and draft a Consent Order to record what has been agreed between you.

As with all cross border mediation, video links and other electronic resources can be used to conduct the collaborative law process. This means that everyone does not have to be physically in the same room but can be linked in by video.

Points to consider

Collaborative law can be a very useful mechanism for settling disputes. However, if the dispute is not settled and/or the collaborative process breaks down, you can no longer be represented by your collaborative lawyer and must appointment another.

Also, in international cases, one of you may need to seize a jurisdiction in order to obtain the most favourable outcome. In such circumstances, the collaborative law process is an extremely risky option.


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