Introducing collaborative law
Some branches of law can be seen as confrontational and adversarial. It’s you against ‘the other side’. When a case goes to Court, someone wins, and someone loses.
When it comes to family law, the most constructive thing is to minimise conflict, ensure the best interests of the children and family are upheld, and obtain the best results for our clients.
That’s why we practice collaborative law.
When is collaborative law suitable?
Issues that can be resolved using a collaborative approach include:
• Pre-nuptial agreements
• Post-nuptial agreements
• Change of name deeds for adults and children
• Civil dissolution
• Financial remedy
• Cohabitation disputes
• Separation agreements
• Child arrangement orders
It’s especially appropriate for sorting out intertwined arrangements for finances and children, and when you want to have a good relationship with your former partner, maintaining respect and dignity.
It isn’t applicable if the separation is acrimonious, or there’s no trust, or there’s been domestic abuse.
Benefits of collaborative law
A collaborative approach is fairer and more comfortable, and typically results in success for all concerned – 83% in a recent survey by Resolution.
One couple said: “Everything was open for discussion, which meant that, although compromises had to be made on both sides, it made us face up to the situation and understand what was truly important.”
The focus is enhanced communication with the outcome of a healthier relationship after the divorce or separation. It’s a holistic approach that focuses on your concerns and goals.
It keeps clients in control of the process, rather than lawyers. You work together to find mutually beneficial solutions. You and your spouse or partner make the final decision, not a judge.
How it works
Both parties and their collaboratively trained lawyers sign a collaborative participation agreement saying they will negotiate in an open and transparent way.
The agreement includes a disqualification clause saying the parties will instruct new lawyers if they can’t agree and want to go to Court.
Correspondence is kept to a minimum. Issues are dealt with at meetings which include both parties, their lawyers, and other relevant professionals who are also collaboratively trained, such as a financial adviser.
This means that legal costs are reduced.
How we help
Meinir Wyn Jones has been a solicitor since 2009 and is trained in collaborative law. She speaks Welsh and English, specialises in all areas of family law, and is a member of Resolution and the Shropshire Collaborative POD.
She’s supported by Mari Wyn Jones (they’re cousins!), who’s a Trainee Solicitor working within the family team. Mari is currently studying her Graduate Diploma in Law with Master of Laws and is intending to start the Legal Practise Course in late 2023.
Mari graduated from the University of York with a History degree in 2021. Alongside her studies, she spent over two years volunteering for IDAS, a northern domestic abuse service, where she later became a Domestic Abuse practitioner.
Mei and Mari will discuss what works for you, help prepare the agenda, assist you with negotiations, manage any conflict that does arise, give legal advice and prepare the relevant documents.
To find out more about the collaborative process, please call us on 01938 552545 or visit our Collaborative Law page.