If you do not want a court to decide how your money is divided and how future arrangements for your children can be made and if you feel able to sit with your partner and your respective collaborative lawyers in the same room to discuss such matters, then the collaborative process may suit you.
After the first meeting between you and your lawyer a series of four-way meetings are arranged with your partner and his or her collaborative lawyer. Meetings largely follow this pattern until matters are resolved when the court can be approached to approve the arrangements you have made yourselves. Negotiations take place at the face to face meetings. Whilst you are in the process you make a commitment not to go to court.
In the event that negotiations break down and it is necessary to issue an application to court, you and your partner will have to instruct a new collaborative lawyer. This means everyone in the process is fully committed to trying to resolve your future arrangements.
Sometimes other professionals join the process too, such as a family consultant who can support both of you through the emotional aspects of the collaborative process. Exploring future options for you and your family and reaching solutions can be challenging.
Independent financial advisers or accountants can also be brought in by agreement between you and your partner and lawyers to advise both of you on issues. If you want to maintain a working relationship for the future in a non-aggressive and amicable way this may be an option worth considering.