Collaborative Law

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Are you considering the option of dealing with your family law issues by the collaborative law process?

The traditional Court process for resolving disputes arising from a separation, divorce, or family disagreement can be a lengthy, costly, and unpleasant experience. That is why many couples and families seeking to resolve a disagreement are now opting for a collaborative law approach instead.

Providing more control and a potentially swifter solution than the traditional Court process, this relatively new area of law is fast becoming a popular alternative.

At Elite Law, the collaborative law process is personally handled by senior solicitor, Christopher Dolton.  Christopher is a keen promoter of alternatives to Court process as a means of resolving family disputes and he qualified as a Collaborative Lawyer over ten years ago.

We act for clients in Amersham, Chesham, Holmer Green, Hazlemere, Widmer End, Great Kingshill, High Wycombe, Rickmansworth, Beaconsfield, Chalfont St Peter, Gerrards Cross and throughout Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

Call 0800 086 2929, email or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form to arrange a free, no-obligation discussion and let one of our accredited collaborative lawyers explain your legal rights and options.

collaborative law

What Is Collaborative Law?

As the name suggests, collaborative law seeks to settle disagreements in the divorce process through a non-confrontational approach to dispute resolution. This process begins with both parties signing an agreement or otherwise confirming that they do not wish to go to Court and will instead commit to the collaborative law approach.

Once decided, each party appoints a trained collaborative solicitor to represent them. The couple and their respective solicitors will then attend a series of four-way meetings, sometimes with a family consultant present as well, to discuss and attempt to settle any outstanding issues, from finances and logistics to arrangements for children.

There is no strict formula for these meetings. As long as both parties consent, the time, place, and attendees present can all be tailored to suit the couple’s individual needs. Other professionals will often be brought into the process as needed, from accountants and financial advisors to life coaches and children specialists.

How Collaborative Law Helps The Divorce Process

Taking a dispute to Court as a contested hearing can take months – sometimes even years – to resolve and can be both financially and emotionally draining. Collaborative law offers an alternative approach. Provided a couple is willing to work together constructively, the benefits of collaborative law are numerous.

While the exact number of four-way meetings a dispute will take to resolve varies, on average the process can be completed within a couple of months. With the quicker resolution comes a lower financial cost, too. Perhaps just as importantly, the collaborative approach hands more control to those involved. Instead of a Judge making a final decision, in collaborative law the ultimate resolution to any dispute is arrived at through a process of constructive conversation, meaning that the end result is likely to be much more acceptable to all parties.

It is important to note that, while similar, collaborative law is not the same as mediation. In mediation, a disputing couple will attend meetings with a single, independent mediation-trained solicitor, with no legal representation of their own present.

What We Can Offer You

If you are undergoing a divorce or separation and are interested in using collaborative law to resolve outstanding issues with your partner, it is important to thoroughly understand the process and what it will require. It is even more important to have a reliable and experienced solicitor with you in your four-way meetings.

We can provide you with an experienced solicitor, trained and accredited by Resolution in collaborative law, who can work with you to offer guidance and advice and will reliably represent your needs throughout collaborative meetings.

An experienced solicitor will have an initial consultation with you, free of charge, to discuss your situation in more detail. Once we understand your circumstances better, we can provide you with a clearer understanding of how we can help you.  We will also provide you with a price quotation and a choice of funding methods at the outset.

Call 0800 086 2929, email or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form to arrange a free, no-obligation discussion and let one of our accredited collaborative lawyers explain your legal rights and options.

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Christopher Dolton

Solicitor and Accredited Mediator
Family Law and Divorce

“We felt that at all times Chris Dolton and Carol explained things to us in a way which was easily understood.  We also felt that they had our best interests at the forefront of any decisions that we had to make.”

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