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Staffordshire families and couples facing a relationship or marital breakdown are set to benefit from a new service from Bowcock & Pursaill Solicitors which will allow them to resolve their issues outside of court.

Our Associate Solicitor Lisa Cogger, has qualified as a Collaborative Family Lawyer, a process which offers a non-confrontational approach to dealing with divorce and other areas of family law without having to go to court.
The whole process is led by the client and involves a series of four-way meetings where both solicitors and their clients are present and work together to find a fair and mutually acceptable solution without the threat of court proceedings.

It is the clients who set the agenda and work at a pace that they feel comfortable with, which can be particularly advantageous in reducing the emotional stress associated with the end of a relationship.

Lisa said: “Collaborative Law takes a different approach to resolving family issues arising from separation, divorce or civil partnership.

“The process starts with everyone entering into a written agreement not to go to court, it is therefore a process free from court-imposed timescales which provides a major benefit with regard to the length of the process.

“Their solicitors work together to help the couple find a solution, so you benefit from the strength of two lawyers working together rather than in opposition to one another. This provides for a much less acrimonious divorce and so is less likely to cause further damage to family relationships.

“The benefits of the collaborative approach are considerable, as not only does it encourage open and honest communication, but it allows both parties to retain a good relationship. This is essential when they are co-parenting or have financial issues they need to resolve, but you must be willing to work with your former spouse in a constructive way to ensure the best chance of success.”

Other benefits can include a faster settlement, as most cases settle in 3-4 meetings so it is normally a quicker process.

Lisa added: “Increasingly, we hear of delays in finalising the divorce because of waiting for the court to list the hearing and having to overcome various hurdles which neither party were happy with which cause even more delay and distress. There is also no need for lengthy, aggressive or costly correspondence between lawyers.”

Once both parties have reached a solution a settlement agreement will be drafted. If it is a financial agreement this has to be filed with the court for a judge to approve. Once approved the agreement becomes a binding Court Order.

“At the moment there isn’t a lot of awareness that this collaborative process is available because people have either not heard of it, and because there aren’t many solicitors in Leek and the surrounding Moorlands area who are qualified to provide this service.

“My qualification will now make it easier for families in these areas to benefit from this approach.”

For more information about the collaborative approach or matrimonial matters please contact Lisa Cogger on 01538 399199 or 07814 175 350.

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