Wolferstans are pleased to announce that we now have three collaboratively trained lawyers in our matrimonial team.
Phil Thorneycroft was one of the first solicitors in the South West to train in Collaborative law and for nearly 15 years he has continued to promote this area of law. The head of the family team Vikki Martin, as well as Rebecca Moloney, a solicitor in the team, have now trained as collaborative lawyers and are fully qualified to practise in this area alongside Phil. This means we are now the biggest collaborative practice in Plymouth.
The Collaborative law process aims to allow clients to resolve matters concerning family breakdown and separation away from the court process. The idea is that both parties have their own collaboratively trained solicitors and the parties and solicitors meet to try and discuss and agree a way forward to resolve any issues between them. This can include financial issues and children issues and means that the parties have more control over the process and can work together to achieve the best outcome for all involved without the need to go to court.
The collaborative law process is something that is becoming more popular as people wish to deal with separation in a more amicable way. This shift in approach is also being seen by the government’s recent announcement that it plans to reform divorce law. The Government is looking to remove the requirement of alleging fault as part of the divorce process. We hope that in the future, this could mean that it will no longer be necessary for one person to blame the other for the breakdown of the marriage and set out the reasons for this. The current focus of ‘blame’ can make it especially difficult for clients to then move on and deal with the rest of the financial or child matters in an amicable way. Hopefully the government’s proposals for reform will lead to a more neutral approach and in the future the only requirement would be for one party to provide notification that the relationship had irretrievably broken down, rather than state the reasons for this. This shift, along with the collaborative law process, will hopefully make it easier to achieve better outcomes for all concerned, especially any children involved when a relationship ends.