Collaborative Law - Key Information
Successive governments have wisely decided that the courtroom is no place for most divorcing couples. Legal Aid has gone save in exceptional cases. Court fees have increased. An information gathering visit to a mediator must take place first before an application to court is contemplated.
For those that do engage in the court process, the financial investment is huge and the result uncertain, handed down by an overworked judge under time constraints.
The reduction in the ability of the court to resolve the issues of divorcing couples leaves a huge gap. According to the Office for National Statistics, between 2002 and 2014 the number of divorcees in England and Wales increased from 3,139,516 to 3,802,489 - and this does not include those who have remarried. Broadly, there are 118,000 divorces every year.
So - if the court is not the answer, what is?
A 3 year independent research project, "Mapping Paths to Family Justice", was concluded last year. It was the largest survey of actual divorcees in modern times - and the only study that has looked at all the options available to modern divorcing couples.
The process of collaborative law garnered the following praise:
- a high degree of satisfaction;
- the opportunity to resolve problems in an amicable process, but with personal support if needed;
- more supportive than mediation, and quicker and less prone to inflame conflict than solicitor negotiations;
- the fact that the collaborative lawyers were barred from litigating in the event of failure to reach agreement was seen as a positive;
Whilst the report acknowledged that collaborative law was not for everyone, neither is anything else. Collaborative law is the answer for many. It may be the answer for you.