A report due out today from Resolution (a group of family lawyers committed to promote the settling of issues in a non-confrontational and amicable manner) says that poorer couples are being denied the opportunity to choose the collaborative law process because of the lack of legal aid.
Collaborative family law helps couples resolve disputes over divorce or separation through face-to-face negotiations between the parties and their lawyers. It was introduced from the US in 2003, and more than 1,250 lawyers in England and Wales are eligible to offer the service including of course at Woolley & Co.
Resolution’s legal aid committee, said the study shows the process works ‘but clients who qualify for public funding are currently denied the opportunity’.
The research showed an 85% settlement rate in the 2,800 collaborative cases opened during 2006 and 2007, with at least two-thirds settling sooner than they would have with a more traditional approach.
We do not handle publicly funded cases (legal aid) but collaborative law should surely not be denied people based on their income?