In June 2014, United Kingdom researchers Anne Barlow, Rosemary Hunter, Janet Smithson, and Jan Ewing published a research paper titled Mapping Paths to Family Justice. The paper was based on research sponsored by the University of Exeter, the University of Kent, and the Economic & Research Council and which compared various forms of private forms of dispute resolution for divorce, including collaborative practice.
As collaborative divorce is relatively new in England and Wales, there were comparatively few respondents for the research, so it may not be representative of all collaborative cases. Nonetheless, it may be helpful for Florida families and collaborative practitioners to review the results.
The study reviews three types of private forms of family dispute resolution. One type, solicitor negotiation, isn’t exactly utilized in Florida as we do not have do not have a distinction between solicitors and barristers, we just have attorneys. Either way, below are the definitions used for each process that was analyzed:
- Solicitor negotiation – Solicitors engage in a process of correspondence and discussion to broker a solution on behalf of their clients without going to court.
- Mediation – Both parties attempt to resolve issues relating to their separation with the assistance of a professional family mediator.
- Collaborative law – Each party is represented by their own lawyer, negotiations are conducted face to face in four-way meetings between the parties and their lawyers, with all parties agreeing not to go to court.
Below are some of the main findings and recommendations on divorces that used the collaborative law process: