Politicians have been telling us for years that theirs is the better way. A prominent high street bank is constantly trying to persuade us that there is another way. Now, even lawyers are at it.
Collaboratively trained family lawyers bring a new approach to the often messy area of relationship breakdown. Collaborative Law is a new dispute resolution model which originated in Canada and America. Instead of resorting to the courts to work out arrangements for children and financial matters, specially trained lawyers work with the couple through a series of meetings to try and reach their own agreements. All participants agree to work together respectfully, honestly and in good faith to try to find the right solutions for their particular family circumstances.
Sarah Smith of Harrogate Divorce Solicitors Berwins qualified as a Collaborative Lawyer in 2007. Collaborative Law is what I had been looking for since I began practising in this area. So many people recognise that, although their relationship has failed and they wish to separate, they need to preserve a working relationship for the future – especially if children are involved. There is often a lot of hurt and misunderstanding at the end of a relationship. Giving couples the opportunity to work through issues together and arrive at their solutions is part of the process of moving forward and minimises misunderstandings.”
Sarah is one of a growing number of Resolution members and specialist family solicitors practising collaborative law. The collaborative approach is endorsed by Government, Judges and other family agencies as indeed providing a ‘better way’. When you are facing the pain and stress that relationship breakdown can bring, the rigid operation of the court arena is only likely to compound this. Many couples will find the civilised, respectful approach where they remain in control of the decision making to be of great benefit. Where children are involved, it paves the way for a proper co-parenting relationship, which is of enormous benefit to the children.
There is no good divorce but dealing with your relationship breakdown with Collaborative Lawyers certainly provides another way and arguably a better way.