Collaborative Law Process

We can offer collaborative law to help you reach an agreement.

You and your partner each instruct your own trained collaborative family lawyer.

All negotiations are done in face-to-face meetings (called “4-ways”) with you, your partner and the two family lawyers working together to resolve the issues. You each receive support outside the 4-way meetings with your own collaborative family lawyer.

The first meeting

The first four way meeting:

  • At the first four way meeting the family lawyers will make sure that you both understand that you are making a commitment to working out an agreement without going to court and you will all four sign an agreement to this effect. This is a called a Participation Agreement
  • You and your partner are invited to share your own objectives in choosing this process and you will all plan the agenda for the next meeting
  • You both discuss and disclose all relevant financial and other information openly and honestly through the collaborative process and this can be dealt with at a subsequent meeting
  • You talk about what matters to you and at your own pace

Further meetings

Further four way meetings:

  • Further meetings will deal with your respective priorities and concerns. This could include, for example, looking at other professionals to assist such as pension experts or accountants; or professionals to help the children understand and cope with the changes in the family
  • The meetings will enable you to reach agreement on how the finances will be shared or what arrangements need to be made for any children. If you have children their interests will be at the heart of the process

The final meeting

The final meeting:

  • In the final meeting the documents recording the agreement will be signed and your family lawyers will discuss with you through anything else to implement the agreement


You cannot go to court during this process apart from dealing with uncontested divorce proceedings and getting court approval for the financial agreement that you reach.

If you cannot reach agreement and have to ask the court to intervene each of you will have to instruct a different family lawyer.

How we can help

James Maguire is a Resolution accredited specialist and a trained collaborative lawyer.

We are here to provide support, guidance and legal advice both in and outside the 4-ways. Although the family lawyers are committed to helping both you and partner reach a settlement, we still has a professional duty to advise you personally. Other experts such as counselors, family consultants, accountants and financial professionals can be brought in to assist if everyone agrees that this is needed or would be helpful.

For advice or an informal chat please contact Maguire Family Law by telephone +44 (0) 1625 529456 or by email at