Collaborative Law Explained

collaborative law
Family Mediation
Austin Chessell

Each person who has decided to separate or divorce in the Collaborative Law process has their own solicitor where meetings take place in the same room with the aim of resolving everything face to face.

I find this works better than correspondence and allows the process to cover a lot more ground rather than waiting for a response to a letter.

Each person and the lawyers sign an agreement with one of the important things being that a financial application will not be made to court. Common matters can include children, finances, relocation or all of these matters.

Collaborative Law Explained?

Once each person has instructed a Collaborative Lawyer there will usually be around 4-5 meetings to discuss the issues ‘around the table.’

Legal advice can be given to the parties during this process.

For Collaborative Law to work everyone needs to work towards reaching an agreement on the matters that have been raised and also agree for court proceedings not to be issued.

If an agreement is reached this can be drafted into a court order.

Collaborative law
Collaborative Law has a high success rate

What can you discuss in Collaborative Law?

  • How to separate in a dignified way that will not destroy the family
  • When to tell the children about the separation
  • Your views on the separation and the other persons view
  • Aim to rebuild communication that make have broken down
  • Legal aid
  • Emotions – In this situation a Family Consultant would usually be part of the
  • Is the family home to be sold or will someone and the children remain
  • Relocation internal and
  • Who and when each parent will care for the children and how to co-parent even though the family is
  • Agreeing a financial outcome that looks at the families interests rather than focussing on positions


Other Collaborative Experts

In some cases other professionals work with me. I commonly work with other Mediators, Accountants, Independent Financial Advisors and Divorce Coaches where clients feel this will help the Collaborative Process.


Does Collaborative Law Work?

Yes Collaborative Law has a high success rate when separating couples come to the meetings when they discuss possible options and outcomes by being prepared to express and listen to the other persons views in an open and free forum.


Austin Chessell is a Collaborative Family Lawyer at Shortlands ( and Family Mediator at FAMIA (

Tel: 0207 629 9905
Twitter: @FamilyLawLondon

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