At our initial meeting, in the context of explaining all options to you, we will share how the collaborative process works and help you assess whether or not it may be for you.
If you decide you wish to embark on the collaborative process, we normally introduce you to a family consultant before the first face-to-face meeting. The family consultant normally meets you and your partner individually and together and will then help you throughout the process.
The first meeting normally involves you, your partner, your collaborative lawyers and the family consultant. Everyone will sign a Participation Agreement, which includes a provision stating that, if the process breaks down, each person will need to find a different solicitor. Everyone is therefore fully committed to endeavouring to reach a solution in the process.
Where appropriate, a financial neutral and/or other professionals (such as an accountant to look at business valuation issues or a barrister to provide a jointly-instructed legal opinion) can be instructed to assist in the process.
Edward Cooke is a member of the Three Counties Family Law Group and the Chichester and South Downs Collaborative Law Group.
Both are groups of collaborative law professionals, including collaborative lawyers and family consultancy professionals.