Collaborative Law

Take a more constructive approach to disputes with Collaborative Law

If you want to resolve family disputes without going to court, the collaborative law process may be the best route for you. To find out more about this option contact one of our experienced Family Law solicitors today.

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Call us: 0800 138 0458

Collaborative LawWhat is Collaborative Law?

The process involves both parties having a lawyer present and at hand to participate in a series of four way meetings so that you can discuss matters to eventually come to a suitable resolution outside of court.

These meetings could include discussing how children are responding to your separation, financial planning and other various points. Collaborative Law can benefit both married and unmarried couples.

What will happen in the meetings?

Your lawyer and your ex-partner's lawyer will set up your first meeting either face-to-face or over the phone. The first meeting will usually begin with the signing of a Participation Agreement. This is to verify that both you and your ex-partner agree to settle issues outside of court. It is in this meeting that you will be able to offer your views and objectives on the issues that you would like to resolve with our Collaborative Lawyer and set the agenda for your next meeting. This allows you to plan ahead if you or your ex-partner should need to bring any documentation along.

The subsequent meetings will focus on working towards solutions for any of the issues raised in your first meeting. This may mean you need to include other professionals depending on your circumstances and what legal help you require. For example you may need a specialist financial planner or someone trained to assist children in coping with the big changes that are happening in their lives.

How is it different from Mediation?

Although they share similar aims, collaborative law is different to mediation as you and the other party will have a lawyer with you throughout the process to provide you with necessary legal advice. In mediation there is one neutral mediator to help both parties, who can only offer legal information. A mediator will encourage you to seek legal advice from a solicitor to work alongside.

Our Family Law Specialists

Clare Peckett, Director & Family Law Solicitor

Clare Peckett

Director & Solicitor

Allan Layfield, Director & Family Law Solicitor

Allan Layfield

Director, Solicitor & Collaborative Lawyer

Toby Netting, Family Law Solicitor, Switalskis

Toby Netting

Solicitor & Collaborative Lawyer

Alison Kitchman, Family Law Solicitor

Alison Kitchman

Solicitor & Collaborative Lawyer

Andrew Baines, Family Mediator

Andrew Baines

Solicitor & Family Mediator

Louise Ryder Family Solicitor Switalskis

Louise Ryder


Chris Preston, Consultant Family Law Solicitor, Switalskis

Chris Preston

Consultant Solicitor

Judith Glynn, Consultant Family Solicitor - Switalskis

Judith Glynn

Consultant Solicitor

Sharron Hardman Solicitor - Family Law - Switalskis

Sharron Hardman

Solicitor & Collaborative Lawyer

Samantha Downes


Silhouette Image

Catherine Cain


Maariyah Badat

Trainee Solicitor

How long will the process take?

As the process does not go through court, there is more flexibility depending upon your priorities and your family’s timetable, but on average will take a few months. As the decisions are made by you and your lawyer, the process can be quicker than going through court and can sometimes reduce costs. Some cases may only need a couple of meetings to resolve disputes.

How can Switalskis help me?

Switalskis’ team of highly skilled collaborative lawyers are committed to providing you with the best and most personal experience possible. Our lawyers will be with you throughout the whole process to offer thorough advice. We have helped many couples to work through and settle their legal issues face to face, without the need of going to court.

Contact our collaborative lawyers today on 0800 1380 458, or by sending us a message through our website.

What our clients say

"Thank you for all the valuable advice you gave me through my most difficult time and for helping me to achieve some closure."

Family Law Client

"I was very happy with the service provided and the way my case was handled."

Family Law Client

"They made sure I knew what the next steps were at each part of the process and made sure I was fully informed every step of the way. They were also very proactive in following up paperwork with the other solicitors on my behalf."

Family Law Client