Mediation & Collaborative Law

The key to a successful divorce or financial settlement is ownership of the outcome,  that is that you have had a hand in the eventual agreement reached between you and your former spouse or partner. You would like your spouse to know how you are feeling and what you think you need to move on with your life, and to provide for the children. You need a safe environment in which you may express your feelings and you do not wish to feel bullied or forced to engage in a process which you feel may not be for you.

We are mediators and collaboratively trained lawyers and therefore we can offer our clients more options and a more holistic service than the conventional rush to court. The essence of a good mediated or collaborated settlement is an independent arbitrator, that the process is voluntary and confidential and that full financial disclosure is given.

Mediation is not to be confused with reconciliation. We are not counsellors or therapists but can certainly refer you to appropriate experts. A mediator’s job is not to bring the parties back together, but to facilitate them to reach an agreement with which they can both live. We will deal with your situation sensitively but we also recognise that you are adults and will need to address certain issues between you.

Collaborative law is still a relatively new process to England and is viewed with suspicion by some lawyers who feel that, like mediation, it is intended to take work away from the jobbing solicitor on the High Street. It is about empowering the couple to attain an out of court settlement. Both parties are represented, unlike mediation where you only have one neutral person, but both lawyers and the parties work towards an accord together through a series of face to face meetings instead of adopting opposing positions. Everyone signs up to exclude the court process and correspondence between lawyers is kept to a minimum to discourage them from any disputes arising through miscommunication.

We are very much in favour of alternative dispute resolution but realise that this may not be suitable for everyone. Some solicitors are of the view that mediation or collaborative law is suitable for everyone, but this is not always the case. This can have disastrous consequences for clients later if things go wrong, as their chosen lawyer may not be able to help them. We will discuss with you all the options available to decide which fits best with your individual case.