Some people are able to agree matters directly, without involving lawyers, on some or all issues.
We still strongly recommend that you seek legal advice in these circumstances.
There is a significant risk that an agreement may not be upheld in the future, if both people have not been afforded the opportunity to take legal advice. We would therefore advise that you do so, to be sure you understand the full implications of any proposed agreement.
Negotiation through solicitors
It is possible to resolve matters upon divorce or separation through negotiation in correspondence between solicitors. There will normally be an exchange of financial information (“financial disclosure”) before negotiations begin.
Agreement can often be reached in this way. However, there is sometimes a risk that correspondence can lead to a misunderstanding and/or people taking “positions”, which can harden if matters are not resolved.
Where negotiation through solicitors in correspondence has not resulted in an agreement, it is sometimes a good option for the couple and their solicitors to sit down in a “roundtable meeting” (or a number of meetings) to seek to resolve matters without recourse to the courts.
In a situation where negotiations have stalled, mediation or the collaborative process may also be good options. However, if the other person is not willing to mediate or their lawyer is not collaboratively trained, a roundtable meeting or meetings provide an alternative, constructive way to resolve matters without the need to go to court.
Other professionals, such as a financial advisor, family consultant, forensic accountant or barrister, can be engaged in a roundtable process to assist the parties in reaching an agreement.