Collaborative family law is an exciting new idea both nationally and locally in Shropshire. It is growing rapidly and looks set to revolutionise for many people the way in which family issues are resolved.
Traditionally, the options available to separating couples have either been through mediation or by way of negotiation and litigation. Now collaborative law offers a third way. Parties each appoint their own lawyer, but instead of conducting negotiations by letter or telephone, all discussions take place in meetings, in order to work issues out face to face. As a result the parties each have their lawyers by their side throughout the process and have continuous support and legal advice as matters proceed.
Collaborative lawyers sign an agreement with their clients which disqualifies them from representing the client in court if the collaborative process breaks down. The effect of this agreement means that the lawyers are absolutely committed to helping find the best solutions for the parties by agreement rather than through conflict.
Sometimes only a couple of meetings are needed - on other occasions four or five. The meetings follow agendas set by the parties themselves and their lawyers. This is an effective way of giving the individuals control over the process and ensures the issues which are important to them are discussed and addressed.
Locally, the Shropshire Lawyers Collaborative Group is a revolutionary concept, where that although from different firms, lawyer members of the group work collectively to promote the collaborative model as a civilised, non-adversarial process, to enable separating couples to resolve children and financial issues by agreement, rather than through the courts.
The Shropshire Lawyers Collaborative Group held a launch party on Thursday, 24 November, hosted at the Shrewsbury offices of local law firm Lanyon Bowdler. Three members of the group are solicitors from Lanyon Bowdler – senior partner Peter Flint, partner Colin Spanner and associate Lisa Grimmett, all trained collaborative lawyers.
In addition to announcing the launch of the Shropshire Lawyers Collaborative Group, the purpose of the meeting was to invite a mixed group of professionals from a variety of different agencies, organisations and disciplines who work in the field of family law ranging from professionals working with children to financial advice.
It is important that any party choosing collaborative law as an option for their divorce makes sure their lawyer is resolution trained in collaborative law.
For more information, call 01743 280280
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