Tasha Bevan-Stewart, Co-Chair of the Collaborative Working Party and of Morrisons Solicitors, did a fabulous job of reminding everyone of why they should continue to fly the flag of the collaborative process.
There are many reasons why the collaborative process is the most appropriate method of resolving the disputed issues, but the focus within a collaborative meeting is the ability of the parties to work together to resolve these. Equally, the question that needs to be asked is would the court process be a better way for the couple to resolve these?
The lists of reasons were plentiful, not least of all: it can reduce the parental conflict, making a tremendous difference to the children.
Parents want to see their children thrive and helping them to see that working collaboratively helps them in a number of ways, is key to engaging them. Tasha’s enthusiasm was infectious, she shared some tips and experiences of previous initial client meetings, which led onto an incredibly helpful audience participation discussion.
Being the Pod Liaison Officers conference, the attendees were all fully committed to collaborative. It was very welcoming to hear that there is a general increase of clients coming to an initial meeting with their lawyer with a knowledge of collaborative and also asking for this method to be followed.
One delegate informed the group of a client that had recently been through his second divorce. The first had been dealt with through the ‘traditional’ adversarial process while the second had been worked through within the collaborative process. He advised his lawyer after agreement was reached that everyone should attempt to reach an agreement through this method. It is not often that we have clients who are able to compare the different options they have available to them.
The general consensus of the room was that whilst not every matter could be dealt with collaboratively there were many that could be that are not being done so at present.