If you’re getting divorced and choose to go through the courts, where a judge makes crucial decisions about your family’s future, you are doing exactly that. So instead of putting your future in the hands of a complete stranger, why not choose a way that puts you in control of working out a better ending?
Collaborative family law aims to help you and your ex reach an outcome you’re both comfortable with. It brings you together, with your lawyers, around a table to discuss the things that are most important to each of you and helps you reach agreements you can both live with. And it puts the power to make decisions about the future in your hands, rather than having decisions imposed upon you.
A different standpoint
The starting point for collaborative law is ‘where do you want to be in the future’? This instantly sets the process apart from traditional court action, where the starting point is making orders to meet immediate needs – chiefly putting a roof over your head and the heads of your children.
The collaborative process helps you reach a point where you can accept that dwelling on the past is nowhere near as productive as looking to the future. Yes, you each need somewhere to live now and, if you have children, their needs are paramount. But what do you want the rest of your – and your children’s – lives to look like, and what steps can you take now to make that happen?
Creating a more constructive future
As well as helping you resolve issues that are important here and now, the collaborative approach encourages you to look ahead and discuss, for example, how you can both constructively be part of key moments in your children’s lives. From agreeing to sit together at their first nativity play or football match to both being part of their graduation or wedding, the collaborative process encourages you make agreements now that will help you create the future you want for them.
Getting together around a table and discussing future life events is something that traditional court action is simply not geared up to accommodate. In collaborative law, it is fundamental. Those round table meetings, where you each have your lawyer at your side – along with financial, pension and family professionals if required – to provide advice along the way, give you the opportunity to talk about what’s important to you now, and also what will be important to you in the years ahead.
It doesn’t always feel like it, but thinking ahead and making these agreements now will pay huge dividends in five, ten, twenty or thirty years’ time, helping you create a positive future for yourselves and your family.
It is inevitable that divorce will feel like the end of something, but the way you divorce can help you see a way forward and feel instead that you are approaching the start of something new. In our experience, choosing a ‘better ending’ can help create a more positive new beginning for you and your family.
For more information about how this works in practice, or to find someone to speak to in your local area about collaborative family law, click here.