How collaborative law and mediation can help you and your family
One of the most distressing aspects of a family dispute or breakup can be how easily relationships deteriorate. Partners and spouses who used to agree on everything suddenly find it difficult to agree on almost anything, and even meeting with their former partner is daunting and stressful. Stress levels can only increase if the only place they do meet up in a court room…
Whilst there are always some cases that need to be litigated, due to entrenched views or the need to invoke the court’s powers, in other cases collaborative law can help. Collaborative law allows former partners and spouses to come to an agreement outside of the courtroom, without the costs and inevitable time delays of court proceedings. Everyone involved can set their own timetables for discussing and reaching decisions without the constraints or pressures of court hearing dates.
The process can be simple, consisting of face-to-face meetings between the parties involved and their lawyers, to sort out an agreement between themselves. Meeting take place somewhere that’s ‘neutral territory’, such as our offices here in Eversley. (Many clients find our countryside setting and free parking much less stressful than city-based locations too.)
At LGFL, we have seen first-hand how collaborative law can benefits partners and their families, and especially their children, by reducing the stress levels involved in the legal aspects of separation or dispute to a minimum.
Our LGFL Partner Anne Leiper is a fully trained Collaborative Lawyer specialising in mediation, and her skills and experience have steered many families to an agreement through previously muddy waters.
Talking of muddy waters, some clients are confused by the difference between collaborative law and mediation. Collaborative law provides an alternative to court proceedings using a meeting-based process involving both the parties involve and their legal representatives.
Mediation is a voluntary meeting between the two partners or spouses after separation to discuss all matters arising from their situation, such as child-care and financial settlements. A mediator ‘chairs’ the meeting to guide the discussions and assist in helping everyone reach a point where both parties can take away suggestions and possible solutions to their own legal team.
As both a mediator and experienced Family Law Practitioner, Anne can ensure such meetings stay firmly on track and focused, as well as drawing on her extensive knowledge of family law to assist with negotiations.