Collaborative and your other separation options

Head of our family team, Jonathan da Costa, is an experienced practising solicitor who has been specially trained to help couples sort out things they disagree on.

In 2014 the Law Society selected Jonathan for a national advertising campaign highlighting our best practice approach to divorce and separation. Click play to see the three minute film that was made about Jonathan and one of his clients using the collaborative process.


Collaborative is a process where both parties commit to resolving their conflicts without resorting to court proceedings. 

Each person appoints their own specially trained collaborative lawyer and the separating couple meet with their lawyers to work things out face to face. It could be the best approach for you if both of you would like to discuss matters honestly and openly and you want to come to a solution together.

The couple decide what they want to talk about, not the lawyers, who instead guide the detail of those discussions. Each lawyer can give legal advice at any point, during, before or after discussions because they are not neutral, unlike a mediator.

Many of our collaborative law clients have children whose arrangements they wish to get right alongside their financial arrangements. 

If you choose a collaborative approach, you and your partner will be in control of the timetable and number of meetings.

Clients who deal with their separation using the collaborative process often feel more in control over their future and benefit from improved levels of communication with their partners.

You can download more information about collaborative on our family fact sheet page

Solicitor negotiations
It is not always possible to reach an amicable agreement. If you have decided that the collaborative process is not for you we can also negotiate with the solicitor for your partner in the more traditional way, involving sending letters, telephone discussions and meetings.

Court proceedings
If there is no alternative then we can represent you in court proceedings when a judge will make decisions for you. Whilst we recognise that there are some circumstances when this is necessary, as a general principle we feel strongly that it is better for you and your partner to make the decisions rather than a judge making them for them you.

Ultimately it will be up to you to decide how you want your divorce, civil partnership dissolution or separation process to work. We can help you decide which approach is best for you and will support you through the process and ensure your best interests are protected, no matter which option you choose to take. 

Contact us
Phone us on 01843 234010 or drop us a line via our contact page and it will be treated in strictest confidence. We can meet you at any of our local offices.

Boys and Maughan are members of Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers committed to non-confrontational divorce, separation and other family problems. They have prepared some helpful guides to some of the common questions clients ask that you may wish to download. 

Choosing the right process for youHelping you reach an agreementTaking the right legal advice