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Your guide to a Amicable divorce process

October 29, 2019 Family Law

October 29, 2019 

In the realm of separation and divorce, the immediate expectation often revolves around the traditional process, envisioning a rush to court with opposing sides engaged in a potentially acrimonious battle.

However, this common perception doesn’t always align with the reality of divorce, especially when couples explore alternative avenues for dispute resolution.

Contrary to the assumption that divorce proceedings are inevitably adversarial, many couples find that they can navigate this challenging process amicably, seeking solutions that prioritise cooperation and understanding.

In this context, it becomes crucial for individuals contemplating divorce to recognise the available options for dispute resolution, with the aim of fostering a more peaceful divorce and mutually agreeable separation.

By delving into alternative approaches beyond the courtroom setting, couples may discover pathways that allow for a more harmonious dissolution of their marriage.

Collaborative approach

One alternative option gaining popularity is the collaborative legal approach to separation and divorce.

Unlike the adversarial nature of traditional divorce, the collaborative method encourages a cooperative effort between the divorcing parties and their respective legal representatives.

The emphasis here is on open communication, transparency, and a shared commitment to finding solutions that meet the unique needs and best interest of each individual involved.

Opting for the collaborative approach goes beyond merely avoiding a courtroom battle; it signifies a dedication to fostering an environment conducive to respectful dialogue and negotiation.

By actively involving both parties in shaping the outcomes of their separation, this approach empowers individuals to have a more direct role in the decision-making process, potentially leading to more customised and satisfactory results that work for both spouses.

Typically, the collaborative process involves joint meetings where both parties and their legal representatives collaboratively work towards reaching a settlement.

This not only streamlines the process but also ensures that both individuals have a voice in the resolution of issues such as assets , money division, and child custody.

In some cases, collaborative teams may include neutral experts, such as financial advisors or mental health professionals, contributing to a comprehensive and well-rounded approach This is known as divorce mediation.

Choosing the collaborative legal approach underscores a commitment to a more compassionate and holistic resolution of the divorce process.

It acknowledges the multifaceted nature of divorce, recognising emotional and financial documents alongside legal considerations.

By steering away from the adversarial mind-set, soon to be separating couples may find that the collaborative method provides an effective and fulfilling means of navigating their separation with dignity, respect, and a focus on the well-being of all involved parties. Allowing both partners to move on to the new chapter in their life.

Amicable divorce

Put simply it is a mutual approach to agreeing long term arrangement in respect of separation. Legal and financial matters are resolved as well as the ongoing arrangement for any children of the marriage.

The goal is to minimise conflict between couples and ultimately put any children first while ensuring that there is a mutually agreeable outcome which is beneficial to all parties. The other aim is to reduce the possibility of future conflict or difficulty arising from the separation.

Both parties instruct their own collaboratively trained solicitor to begin the process. Thereafter, the process is multidisciplinary: a neutral third party financial adviser known as a financial neutral – who can assist parties with reality testing and realistic planning for the future for both parties and any children of the relationship and family counsellors or psychotherapists who can assist parties with dealing with the emotional fall out from separation.

The focus of the collaborative approach is everyone working together to reach a mutually agreeable outcome. The purpose is to lead to the best outcomes for everyone in as positive and united a settlement as possible.

Many people can be anxious regarding the legal fees of the process but it is actually on par with traditional negotiations and costs far less than court proceedings which can become protracted and result in parties being very positional.

As the focus is a mutual process parties are focused on the issues and usually an amicable separation is far quicker to come to a fair agreement.

Purpose of amicable divorce

The purpose of divorcing or separating amicably is to determine shared interests, for example matters relating to child support, co parenting and to focus on those to try to work together to allow separating couples to divorce amicably and in a fair and reasonable way.

Both parties attend joint meetings with their family law attorneys as well as with financial neutrals and relationship therapists (if appointed) and all work is progressed this way. When both parties have reached agreement a legal separation agreement is created in writing. If the collaborate discussion phase is successful then moving forward to the separation agreement is generally quick and dealt with by parties solicitors.

Divorcing amicably usually means both parties are able to move on to their next chapter and with their separate lives with good faith, to be able to look back at the process without anger or regret and is a process which many couples could benefit from in this situation.

Further information can be sourced on the Consensus website –

Quick guide – Collaborative divorce process – divorce amicably

At the initial four way meeting, both parties and your family lawyer will sign a Participation Agreement agreeing to certain matters, including that they will not raise court proceedings during the collaborative process and will treat each other with mutual respect leading to a amicable and uncontested divorce.

In advance of each meeting, an agenda is prepared and, accordingly, everybody knows the issues which will be discussed at the meeting. Urgent meetings can be arranged if unforeseen or unexpected issues arise. Following each meeting, a summary of the discussions is prepared and provided to each person present.

The length of meetings can vary, but each meeting tends to last for a maximum of 1 hour 30 minutes. There is, of course, no limit to the number of meetings which can be arranged, but studies reveal that four meetings tend to be average using collaborative practice. Once matters are agreed a legal agreement is entered into and signed by both parties. This Agreement is generally registered.

How Jones Whyte can help you through the collaborative law process

At Jones Whyte LLP we have Solicitors who are trained in collaborative practice and have dealt with a number of collaborative cases throughout the years.

Over 90% of the cases dealt with by our Solicitors have resulted in an agreement being reached without the need for a further legal process . Of course, it is important to identify the matters which are appropriate for collaborative practice, and our Solicitors are experienced in that field.

A successful Collaborative Law approach generally results in matters being concluded more quickly and less expensively than court proceedings. Dealing with matters by way of collaborative practice has also proven to reduce animosity and encourage constructive discussion, which in turn will enable couples to foster a relationship of mutual respect.

A collaborative divorce approach allows both parties to discuss matters openly and honestly without the fear of impending court proceedings allowing the divorcing couple to divorce amicably through communication with their spouse ensuring the best outcome for all family members and children involved.

Contact our divorce lawyers

If you have any concerns or need legal advice relating to a family law matter please don’t hesitate to set up an appointment or get in touch with our Family Law Partners, Charles Brown or Cameron Shaw. Both are skilled Collaborative Lawyers and are also members of the Family Law Association, with the expertise to assist you with your divorce case.

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