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Collaborative divorce

(9 Posts)
Kaelle Wed 13-Jul-11 16:58:23

Sadly, STBEH and I are divorcing, and my solicitor has suggested that, as we are relatively civil w one another, that we should use the collaborative method. I've researched it on the Internet but I was wondering if any mums are going thru or had gone thru this new method.???

UnhappyLizzie Wed 13-Jul-11 17:20:58

Just been talking to a friend who spent 10 thousand pounds on solicitor's fees before she and xh thrashed it out in an hour in Costa Coffee. I am separating myself and hope to use a mediator. It's an alternative to lawyers and much cheaper.

Teaandcakeplease Wed 13-Jul-11 20:29:37

This website is very helpful:

Kaelle Thu 14-Jul-11 09:53:58

Thx Unhappylizzie(why are u unhappy?), we need to use solicitors cuz things are a bit complicated both on the financial side( im not sure i know about everything...) and on the parenting role as i will have to find a way to get him to be more involved when his highly frequent global travel is one of the main reasons for our breakup.

Thx teaandcakeplease. The site is good. I was just hoping to hear from someone who was going through this. It's a bit daunting to have to sign an agreement that if u don't resolve things in this manner, then you lose the right to have your solicitor represent you in any other process. So you would have to start the whole process again w a new solicitor-that sounds expensive, but I guess it's a strong motivator for both parties to work it out!

Teaandcakeplease Thu 14-Jul-11 17:46:06

That's how collaborative works yes. Certainly helps focus the mind and make you reach a resolution grin

I'd try mediation first personally.

I would use a solicitor who is a member of resolution. However you do not have to do collaborative law with them. But they will be committed to a non confrontational approach. The last thing you really want is to get to the FDR (Final Disoute Resolution) stage if possible imo. Very stressful for both of you.

I divorced in December and just instructed a bog standard solicitor. In my case I wish I'd just gone the mediation route. That would have worked for us just fine in retrospect.

But I'm only one person and no expert.

Teaandcakeplease Thu 14-Jul-11 17:46:51


Wisedupwoman Thu 14-Jul-11 19:44:38

I use a sol who is a member of resolution and he referred me to a specialist mediator for financial settlement. I had my first mediation yesterday. It was ok, even given that I almost cannot bear to be in the same room as my XH.

I would give mediation a try but ask your sol to refer you to one rather than a general mediation service.

Kaelle Fri 15-Jul-11 06:50:38

My sol is a member of resolution and is also trained/certified for the new collaborative process.

Wisedup, how did you feel being in mediation w/o someone to give you advice? Are you sure you'll get what you deserve/are allowed financially? Fully up on pension rights and are you sure there are no assets you don't know about?

Well, I'll keep you posted on how the collaborative process goes. I'm still waiting for him to file.....his procrastination is another reason why I think collaborative is for us. Should kick off in august, but I'm already preparing for the first meeting so we can hopefully get thru this as quickly as possible!! The children are not happy w the delays and uncertainty!

loiner45 Thu 21-Jul-11 12:47:13


I was divorced via the collaborative route as we wanted to keep things civil (initiated by him as there was an OW).
The big plus is that it was fast and 'amicable', the negative is that I did not come out of it as well financially as I could have - I agreed to things without getting into a fight and no-one double checked his figures, I took too much on trust and his accounting was creative. In retrospect there was no-one "fighting my corner". A friend is just completing a non-collaborative, disputed, divorce with a tough solicitor on her side but a rottweiler on his. She has had the most awful six months, looked like death warmed up - and it has cost them both a fortune (£15K+ each) but she has come out feeling she has the best deal she could get. I ended up paying £3-£4 K and that was for the simple, undisputed version - you pay for the collaborative solicitors to meet and talk things through! OTOH I know a couple who spent £150K on their divorce - which is an obscene amount of money IMO!

Would I do it again the collaborative route? yes I would - because at the end of the day it was best for the kids to see us working amicably and I have maintained great relationships with my ex-inlaws who I stay close to.

There are trade offs to be thought about, for me the key one was keeping happy healthy and sane while it was happening and to keep as many of the extended family as friends as I could. Your priorities might be different. IF money is going to be really tight you may need to sacrifice wider relationships to keep a roof over your head - luckily that was not the case for me. I will have to significantly downsize once the kids leave home, and that will be a real wrench, but I will be OK.

Keep talking to each other though - the 'errors' I did spot before the settlement were talked about, i never accused him of creative accounting, but suggested he might have made an error in his calculations....

BTW If negotiations do break down the solicitors you have for the collaborative process cannot act for you in court, nor can they be called upon as witnesses.

good luck

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