Under the collaborative law process, each person appoints their own collaboratively trained solicitor. Both the clients and their respective solicitors all meet together to work things out face to face. Both clients will have their solicitor with them throughout the process to provide support and legal advice on an ongoing basis.
The meetings create a different dynamic as the clients have “ownership” of their agreement. To support the process, both parties sign an agreement that commits them to try and resolve the issues without going to court. If the process does break down, new solicitors would have to be appointed. This provides a further incentive to the parties to ensure they are fully committed and engaged on reaching an agreement.
When couples separate, traditionally they would seek to take independent advice from their own family solicitor. The solicitor would then seek to reach agreement with the other party's solicitor and address issues such as finances or contact with children. If agreement couldn't be reached, an application could be made at court. This however would lead to increased costs and uncertainty.