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Collaborative Law FAQS – Is a good amicable divorce possible?

Collaborative Law FAQS – Is a good amicable divorce possible?

Q: I want an amicable divorce, I have seen too many messy divorces, how can it be achieved?

A: In the circumstances of a family separation it is important to choose your words carefully when looking to settle legal issues. What one may see as amicable, the other may see as abandonment of responsibility. Lawyers trained as collaborative practitioners have sensitivity to how discussions are framed in such a way that the true aim and objectives of both of you are heard and respected. The collaborative approach enables separating couples to behave and be treated like adults, when the alternative of a Judge in Court might fairly be likened to asking Mummy or Daddy to make it better. It is not like you or your partner to be treated in this way but in an emotionally heightened situation such as divorce as solicitor trained to communicate collaboratively may be the difference in achieving a good amicable separation.

Q: What type of case suits the collaborative process?

A: In Britain we are an old democracy and have a natural reserve about zealots. At Stonehewer Moss and other collaborative solicitors practices in North Cheshire, we are not looking for the perfect client for our precious process, we deal with the reality of human problems and seek to find the best solution for you and your family. Just as we ask clients entering the collaborative process to keep an open mind, and will support you appropriately if that gets difficult, we ourselves keep an open mind about our clients. Those who have bad motives are usually found out, it is not for your lawyer to box you into a category of unsuitability. You can assess whether you feel it is the right process for your family by having an initial meeting attended by your spouse and his lawyer before agreeing to use collaborative. These problems can be covered by a collaborative approach:-

  1. Divorce
  2. Child arrangements.
  3. Financial issues in divorce.
  4. Separation issues when you were not married, such as trusts upon houses.
  5. Financial provision for children

Q: What happens if I choose to deal with my family dispute by the collaborative process?

A: There can be no collaborative option if your ex partner will not agree to give it a try. In Cheshire this should not be a problem because anyone can see a collaborative solicitor without obligation for 30 minutes to see if a collaborative approach will be a good option for their family. There is no charge if you produce the voucher downloaded from:-

Michael Brennan at Stonehewer Moss is a member of the Cheshire Group and if instructed will send an appropriate first letter to your ex partner setting out the options for seeking an agreement. If Collaborative is chosen there are no more letters sent, you simply meet to discuss what is important to your family and move towards an agreement with support in the meetings from your lawyer, Michael for you and another collaborative lawyer for your ex partner. When agreement is reached the lawyers will draw up the necessary documents to make it a concluded settlement. The Court is only used to further your joint agreement, not to take your future out of your hands and control. Collaborative allows you to keep control of your future in a supported and appropriate environment without stressful threats of Court hearings and in which you set the agenda together, pacing it so as to keep it manageable with your other commitments.

Q: How trustworthy is collaborative?

A: The settlement is only reached if you are comfortable with it and you are best placed to judge whether it is reliable. The lawyers have the skills to take the difficult subjects you discuss and re frame any misunderstanding between you both that may have made you feel unheard and has been an obstacle to progress. You can feel confident that both lawyers know their business, as they have to experienced specialist lawyers to gain the qualification necessary before collaborative law can be practised. At the first meeting you can assess if it is right for your family and all of the participants in the meeting sign an agreement covering issues like confidentiality and committing to making efforts to resolve the legal issues without going to Court. The lawyers agree that they must withdraw from the case if settlement cannot be reached within the meetings and you can rely on this to know what is discussed will not be raised in Court should you be unable to reach a settlement.

Q: Is collaborative more expensive than the traditional approach by sending letters and going to a dispute at Court?

A: In the experience of Michael Brennan since he qualified as a collaborative lawyer in 2006, they are certainly no more expensive and really should be less expensive than a contested case. In addition, how do you quantify the stress and damage of a contested divorce dispute on you and any children? Collaborative solicitors will all be experienced and should give realistic cost estimates you can rely upon. For more details telephone 01606 872200, e mail or visit our website at

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Stonehewer Moss Solicitors, Citadel House, Solvay Road, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 4DP

Solicitors in Northwich covering Chester, Crewe, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Middlewich, Northwich, Runcorn, Sandbach, Warrington, Winsford, and across Cheshire.

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