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helping to resolve family disputes through collaborative law

Collaborative law is a process that allows people to resolve their family law disputes face-to-face with the benefit of open legal advice.

At an initial assessment meeting, a member of the Watson Thomas Solicitors legal team can discuss whether the collaborative option is right for you.

The process consists of a series of four-way meetings at which each party has their own specially trained collaborative lawyer. Your lawyer is there to advise and support you throughout.

You can discuss any issues you like within collaborative meetings, such as divorce, financial issues or matters relating to children. Generally, 3 to 4 meetings are held over a period of a few months and the settlement or divorce petition is drafted during the process.

Collaborative law is different from conventional negotiation methods in that legal advice is given openly at four-way meetings. So not only do you get the benefit of independent legal advice, but you also hear the advice your ex-partner or spouse is receiving.

At the beginning of the process we all agree not to go to court to resolve matters. This binding agreement acts as a powerful incentive to work together to find a shared solution. People often find it more satisfactory to achieve an outcome they have designed themselves, rather than having a judgement imposed on them by a court. It also means collaborative agreements are more likely to be followed and upheld by the parties.

how does collaborative law differ from mediation?

Collaborative law is different from mediation in that you receive legal advice at meetings, and a binding agreement can be reached. The collaborative process is flexible as it allows other professionals to participate in meetings, such as family therapists or financial advisers. Each case is different, and the process can be adapted to suit your needs.

Collaborative law aims to minimise the harmful impact of conflict on all concerned, including children, and to resolve issues as efficiently as possible. The intention is to save costs in using the collaborative process. It is almost always cheaper than using the court process to resolve matters.

If you think collaborative law may help resolve your family law issue, please call Rachel Watson on 01252 622422 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more.  We do offer capped fees for the collaborative service, which will depend on the complexity of your case, so please ask for details.

Download Collaborative Law Leaflet here

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Some Kind Words

Thank you so very for all your help and support with my divorce. You have been absolutely brilliant and it was constantly reassuring to know you were always at the end of a phone. Your support and...
Client in Bordon, Hampshire, January 2015
I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am to Tasha for her compassion, professionalism and kindness she shown me throughout my divorce and further legal requirements. Tasha was recommended...
Client in Fleet, Hampshire, August 2017
You may have gathered already that I am very happy with the result of the Hearing. I'm convinced that a less capable, or less engaged legal team would not have been able to achieve such a result...
January 2016
Many thanks for all your help and advice during a difficult and emotional time, I will surely recommend you to any friends who find themselves in my position.
Client in Fleet, Hampshire September 2016
Thanks so much to Rachel and the team at Watson Thomas. You were all very patient and understanding which was greatly appreciated being that it was such a difficult time for me.
Customer in Fleet, Hampshire, October 2014