What is collaborative law and is it right for me?

Insights - 06/12/2017

We caught up with Tasha Bevan-Stewart, a new senior associate in our family law team, to learn more about how and when to use collaborative law to resolve complex family and relationship issues, as well as finding out a bit more about Tasha and her background.

What does the word ‘collaborative’ mean?

To work with others in a co-operative, rather than adversarial way, towards a common goal.

How is ‘collaborative law’ different from other dispute resolution methods?

We start off with an agreement that we won’t go to court to resolve matters. The case is conducted through a series of four-way meetings between the clients and their lawyers. Advice is given in an open context, instead of in secret behind closed doors. Neutral third parties such as financial advisers or counsellors can be asked to join the process and provide additional expertise and support. We use creative problem-solving to resolve disputes and everyone is focused on achieving the best possible outcome as efficiently as possible.

Does using the collaborative process mean you have to sit in the same room as your ex?

Yes. The process works through open communication and it often helps to build trust between the participants. If this is not achievable, mediation might be a suitable alternative, where a neutral mediator can shuttle between two parties seated in different rooms.

Is collaborative law cheaper than other methods?

Using the collaborative process usually allows clients to save costs, and it is almost always cheaper than using the court process.

What made you join Morrisons?

I wanted to be part of a firm that offers high quality, specialist legal advice and premium service to clients. People going through relationship breakdown are having a difficult enough time, and they need supportive lawyers who can provide clear and cost effective advice. I think the Morrisons approach matches my style of offering clear advice and the right kind of support for each client.

What skills do you bring to the firm?

I have specialised in family law, practising in Surrey and Hampshire since I qualified in 2007, advising clients on divorce, financial and children-related issues on relationship breakdown. I am a Resolution-trained mediator and experienced collaborative lawyer. I am experienced in a range of matrimonial finance issues, including applications to preserve marital assets or vary maintenance, interim maintenance applications and separation agreements. I have a background in forensic financial investigation which is helpful in cases involving more complex assets. I also advise on cases involving arrangements for children of separated families. My clients often comment on my professional and supportive approach as well as my clear advice on legal options. I have a great deal of experience advising in cases either involving court proceedings or out-of-court settlement. The collaborative approach is also often suitable for resolving these cases and can be used to help both parties to arrive at a settlement that preserves dignity and respect between them.

To find out more about collaborative law, or to discuss any family law requirements you have, please contact Tasha Bevan-Stewart by phone on 01276 401687 or email her at [email protected] or speak to any member of our family team.

Disclaimer:

Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this newsletter/blog are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.