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Collaborative law and Legal Aid
Collaborative law is a relatively new process to the UK legal system, and one that many experts feel should be used more in settling family disputes.
Collaborative law is a process where each party appoints a specially trained lawyer to negotiate the settlement with them. It is especially useful as it allows for a range of issues to be addressed all at once, which over the course of the settlement can save time. This procedure can significantly reduce the upset and anguish some family law cases can cause.
At present, Legal Aid cannot be extended to collaborative law procedures, which means each party in a family law dispute must go to court. The timetable the court sets is fixed. Collaborative law offers a greater deal of flexibility, which can reduce the levels of stress felt by each party to attend a set court date, reducing the pressure felt when negotiating any settlement.
Collaborative law is not the solution to all family law matters and is only applicable in certain situations. However, if the process were made available to Legal Aid clients as well as private clients, it could in part reduce the strain on the families and the courts.