Each person appoints their own lawyer who has to be collaboratively trained. You, your ex-partner and your collaborative lawyers meet to work things out face to face. You all sign an agreement that you wish to resolve the issues without going to court.
At the beginning of the process there is an assessment of your motivation for wanting to use the collaborative process. At each meeting the agenda of issues is considered and dealt with in order of priority.
The advantage of the collaborative process is that it fits around you and the speed at which you want to proceed. Your collaborative lawyers are also able to deal with the divorce and the financial order if these are agreed. However, if there is any dispute about the finances or the divorce, then your collaborative lawyers will have to stop acting for you. They will not be able to represent you in court and you will have to appoint new lawyers.
Within the collaborative process, there is the option to include neutral experts such as IFAs and others such as mediators and counsellors who will support both parties during the difficult process of ending the relationship and finalising the finances.