30th Sep 2019

Building a framework of trust within divorce

Berwins’ Family team is proud to specialise in collaborative family law and support separating clients to move forward in a constructive way. Marking Collaborative Family Law Week 2019, team leader Danielle Day explores the vital issue of trust and the part it plays in the process.  

Trust is one of the most essential components of the Collaborative Family Law process. Without it, the practice will undoubtably fail and the parties will find themselves in a litigious legal battle.

When a relationship comes to an end, issues of trust often abound, but with the collaborative process and while it can sometimes seem counter intuitive, it’s important to note that trust is not purely a two-way consideration between two individuals moving on to the next stage of their lives. The legal representatives and any other third parties is involved in the process must also agree and there must be trust from every participant

Trust between the lawyers

Every practicing collaboratively trained lawyer is a member of their local POD – essentially a local practise group who meet once a month with their fellow collaborate practitioners. The purpose of the group is to build relationships with one another to enable a more effective working relationship.

The lawyers within it need to be able to trust their fellow colleagues throughout the process. They need to be confident that the lawyer will be honest with all parties and not try and conceal information in the process or point score. Unfortunately, there are some collaborative lawyers who are not suited to the process, despite having the badge.  It is therefore essential that you choose the right representative for you.

Once you have two sensible collaboratively trained lawyers, the next question is do you trust one another.

Trust between the separating couple

It is important that you both feel comfortable that you will each be truthful and honest throughout this process. All advice and information is shared within the meetings and you need to be comfortable that your spouse/partner will share all their information and not hold back. Each lawyer has a duty to disclosure the conversations they have with their client in the process. This is made clear to everyone from the outset.

Prior to signing up to the collaborative process, each lawyer will do a screening check to see if this is suitable for you. If one party expresses a concern about the other party trying to hide their assets and there is history of foul play in the relationship - your lawyer may not recommend this process. To go down the collaborative route in those circumstances would be setting the process up to fail. This will be a waste of time and money for all concerned.


Ranked in industry guides Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners, Danielle Day is Head of Family Law at Berwins. She specialises in cases or relationship breakdown and divorce involving complex financial issues.

Berwins' dedicated and friendly team is here to help. If you have a matter you would like to discuss with Danielle and the team, please get in touch by calling (01423) 509000 or use our contact form online and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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