People Insights
Contact Us
Get in touch
Contact Us
Published On: February 20, 2020 | Blog | 0 comments

Separation doesn’t need to be combative; it can be collaborative

What is Collaborative Family Law Practice?

Collaborative practice is an approach taken by separating couples who want to deal with finance, children and separation issues in a non-confrontational way. The objective of the collaborative process is to minimise the pain of a family breakdown and avoid the stress and costs associated with court proceedings.

How it works

Each person appoints their own collaboratively trained lawyer; not only an expert in family law, but trained by Resolution to settle disputes utilising mediation and negotiation techniques.

To begin each individual and their lawyer must sign a ‘Participation Agreement’ which sets out the understanding of the process. This can include a clause in which they promise to try to reach a consensus without issuing court proceedings. Sometimes, it is agreed that this is not included.

Then, rather than dealing with matters through solicitors, a series of ‘four-way’ meetings are set up between the separating couple and their legal representatives. At the meetings the separating couple set the agenda and are supported, advocated for and advised by their respective lawyers with the view to reach mutual understanding and agreement.

The separating couple may choose to involve other professionals; independent financial advisers or accountants to give advice regarding finances and tax at key meetings (they are not in attendance at all the meetings), or a trained counsellor or family coach to provide emotional support or work to improve communication in meetings.

The number of meetings required depends on the separating couples’ timetable and priorities. For the approach to work both individuals must have a willingness to provide full and frank disclosure about their assets and circumstances and have a genuine desire to reach an agreement. It is far quicker and considerably les expensive than the court process.

Once there is agreement the lawyers draw up a ‘Settlement Agreement’ which can be issued at court, and if approved, becomes a binding Court order.


  • The separating couple are in control. They set the pace and the agenda and discuss the things that matter to them and their families. As meetings are tailored to the separating couple’s specific needs and circumstances there is a real opportunity to reach more creative outcomes.
  • The process encourages debate and understanding around the various options and points of view. All can work together to solve problems.
  • Momentum is kept as the separating couple benefit from legal advice during discussions. This stands in contrast to Mediation where a Mediator is unable to provide legal advice and there can be significant delays with separating couples seeking legal or other professional advice between sessions.
  • The process is not driven by the court or the court timetable. This not only removes the costs associated with the court process but the additional pressure of meeting strict court deadlines and attending hearings can bring.
  • Separating couples decide what should happen with their finances and children, rather than a Judge who doesn’t know them or their children.
  • Separating couples are more likely to adhere to the resolution they have reached themselves through negotiations rather than imposed by the court.
  • Separating couples maintain a level of contact with former partners, which can be immensely beneficial especially if children are involved.


  • It is not suitable where there are safeguarding issues or where there is a failure to disclose information and documentation.

Is it right for me?

For collaborative law to work it needs the right people with the right frame of mind. That does not mean you already agree on everything otherwise you would not need lawyers. However, there must be a genuine desire to reach an agreement without going to court.

If both individuals are committed the collaborative process can often be quicker, cheaper and more effective than the court process.

Get in touch

We have experienced collaborative lawyers at Anthony Gold. Please see our website at and

For more information about the collaborative process please see the Resolution website

*Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

Get in touch

Call, email or use a contact form – whichever suits you. We’ll let you know the best person to help you get started.

Call or Email

020 7940 4060

No comments

Add your comment

We need your name and email address to make sure you’re a real person. We won’t share your email address with anyone else or send you spam. Please complete fields marked with *.

Leave a Reply

Your email address and phone number will not be published on the website. Other visitors will not be able to see your contact information. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us

How can we help?

Request a Call Back

How can we help?