Julie McCrery


Family and Matrimonial

Could collaborative law work for you?

Julie McCrery

Collaborative law cuts out the necessity for contested court proceedings in the event of a relationship breakdown. Each partner has a collaboratively trained lawyer who will guide and advise, and who will be included in the process throughout. In the course of considering every avenue, collaborative law can be a highly effective option, and is one that can be explored and discussed before any work is undertaken.


The collaborative law process is designed for all parties to be able to work together, solving any issues in an agreed and family focused way, rather than adopting a partisan stance as can sometimes be the case with more traditional approaches.

The practice relies on experienced solicitors offering sound legal advice, combined with the open communication of both parties to resolve family matters. It is a process that requires face to face meetings, aiming to reach amicable solutions in person and aims to resolve matters in a way that is in the best interest of the family. When a relationship breaks down, this approach can save time and expense, though there is a lot to consider when deciding on the initial first steps. Working with a trained collaborative lawyer will enable you to consider whether collaborative law could work for both parties.

Fraser Brown offers the option of a collaborative practice which can resolve many of the concerns arising on separation in one forum. Often this method can reduce the complexity of a situation, with each partner talking through matters with a lawyer working in the interest of the family. With each partner and the two representatives coming together for meetings, arrangements can be made with  support and legal advice outside of the courtroom.

Collaborative law might be the best solution if:

  • Both parties can be open and honest communicators;
  • You are looking for the best mutually beneficial agreement, not at the expense of the partner;
  • You are looking for a flexible timetable.

The perceived benefits of collaborative law vary from family to family, though many find it helps to steady and ease the process of separation. Why not talk to us at Fraser Brown to see if a collaborative approach can work for you.

Some benefits of collaborative law are:

-      It avoids the uncertainty, cost and delay that can arise in Court proceedings;

-      It is a flexible process, with meetings as frequent or infrequent as the couple would like

-      It’s not driven by a court timetable, and is built around the needs of the family;

-      Decisions are made by the couple, but with the aid of legal advice and support and put into effect by lawyers;

-      Collaborative lawyers can obtain a court order where needed to finalise the agreement reached within the collaborative process;

-      Issues are identified more effectively through the direct contact and working relationships built up as part of the collaborative process

I'm frequently asked to determine the best option to resolve issues arising in separations. It is important to bear in mind that the best solution can only be determined by a detailed discussion with a client, to enable there to be full consideration of their particular circumstance.  

There are many factors to consider when going through a separation, whether that be divorce settlements or child arrangements. Where collaborative law is concerned, the key is in communication. Having clear legal advice and support without going to court is a more attractive option to many wishing to escape the time, expense and uncertainty of court proceedings.

However, the communication between both parties is imperative and is certainly something to be considered when a relationship breaks down. Sitting and talking through the options with a solicitor is best advised when choosing which direction to take. Your personal circumstances are very important in choosing the right path, and at Fraser Brown we offer support at every level.


In handling family matters, Julie’s expertise allows for a thorough and personal service with clear, sound advice. For more information about how collaborative law works, or other family law related queries, please contact Julie McCrery on 0115 947 1544 or Katie Beal on 0115 9888 740 at our Nottingham branch. 

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