Collaborative Family Law
How we work – conflict resolution
At Eddison Cogan Lawyers we practice collaborative family law to achieve cost-effective private resolutions to family conflict. So that there are no conflict-of-interest issues, we are not able to act for either party in any litigation.
In this model, two lawyers, from different firms, work with both parties in relation to divorce, property settlement and child issues, so that the couple have the best possible chances of reaching agreement as to how they are going forward as parents, former domestic partners and perhaps as continuing business partners. Each party is advised by their own lawyer, the lawyers working towards a fair, legal and cost-effective resolution.
Christopher Eddison-Cogan is a qualified lawyer, holds a Master of Laws specialising in family law, an MBA and a diploma in theology. He has completed specialist family mediation training in the UK, including child inclusive mediation, and is regulated by the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority. In some circumstances, Christopher is assisted by Jennifer Hogan-Brown, a former registered nurse and former registered psychologist now practicing in the UK as a specialist family psychotherapist.
In our collaborative model, agreement is more likely to be reached because the professionals are facilitating effective interpersonal communication in a legal context, not legal exchanges in a personal context. For some couples, an exchange of forms, perhaps even online, will be sufficient for an effective separation and divorce, but most require a facilitated end to the legal and emotional relationship in order to move forward with minimal distress and risk of long-term disadvantage.
Once the separating couple reach agreement, we refer each of you to two independent lawyers to review the agreement. This option ensures that each of you has independent advice to confirm that what has been agreed is in the interests of each party.
Independent lawyers may well recommend specific changes, which can be further discussed in the context of collaboration, rather than conflict, because each of you will have seen how much more effective, and cost-effective, collaboration can be.
Documenting financial relationships
Family relationships necessarily include financial relationships, whether entered into voluntarily or imposed by custom or courts.
Strictly speaking, pre-nuptial agreements are not legally binding in the UK, but courts do take notice of their terms provided they are entered into fairly and with full disclosure by both parties.
Other countries, and we are most familiar with Australia, do enforce financial agreements between domestic partners, provided various procedural and substantive conditions are met. Expatriates can be caught out in both directions; for example, cohabiting couples moving to the UK may not have the rights they expect, while a UK professional accepting a two-year posting might find that their accompanying partner suddenly acquires financial rights under Australian law.
In many jurisdictions, including the UK, properly executed cohabitation agreements can be legally binding, and can be agreed between domestic partners, siblings and even friends.
Our fees are sensible and appropriate
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We adopt time billing, fixed fees, retainers and subscriptions. In some circumstances, clients pay over time or at the conclusion of their matter.