During The Process

The collaborative process, unlike traditional litigation, is non adversarial. It requires an openness of approach from the participants that can be challenging during a stressful time. It is important during the process to engage with family consultants, both one on one and in group with the other collaborative professionals. Collaborative practitioners have been specially trained to give guidance and support.

Initial Participation

If the process is for you and your spouse/partner then you meet with your family consultant and legal practitioner to prepare to start. They prepare for your initial meeting as is required.

Introducing Collaborative Practice to Your Spouse/Partner

Your spouse/partner must agree to engage in the Collaborative process. They need to instruct their own solicitor/family consultant who is also trained in the collaborative process. Not all family lawyers/family consultants are trained in collaborative practice. Click here for a list collaboratively trained practitioners.

The Association of Collaborative Practitioners has put together a guide which may be helpful to furnish to your Spouse/Partner to introduce the concept of the Collaborative Practice approach. This PDF guide is suitable for printing or can be emailed.

What happens in the Collaborative Meetings
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Collaborative meetings

The meeting process is flexible and can expand or contract to meet your needs. Initially, meetings will be with your team, your spouse/partner and their team in 5 or 6 way (you, your partner, your lawyers and 1 or 2 family consultants) round table meetings. Where necessary, additional expertise can be introduced (ie. A child specialist or financial or pension experts). In general, it takes 5 to 8 meetings to resolve all the issues that can be encountered on separation or Divorce. It can take fewer or more meetings, depending on your case.

Draft Agreements

Once issues are agreed the lawyers then draft binding separation agreements, or terms of consent that can be “ruled by the Court”.

Court Ruling

Once agreement between you has been reached, the court documentation is drafted and submitted for a Court Ruling. Once ruled, the process is complete.

Resources For Participants

The guides and workbooks available for download below are intended to aid participants engaged in the process. They are designed to complement different aspects of the collaborative process and provide information for both primary participants and family members. They are suitable for both printing and emailing.


Introductory Guide for your Partner/ Spouse
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Help List for Effective Collaborative Negotiations
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Role of Child Specialist
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Role of Collaborative Facilitator
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Role of Mediator
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Role of Financial Specialist
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Role of Pensions Expert
Click To Download

Useful Links & Websites



  • A Short Guide to Divorce Law in Ireland: A survival handbook for the family – by Helen Collins
  • Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Ireland: A Handbook for Family Lawyers and Their Clients – by Josepha Madigan
  • When Parents Separate: Helping Your Children Cope – by John Sharry, Peter Reid and Eugene Donohoe

For younger children

  • Two Homes – (Age 3-5) by Claire Masurel
  • Dinosaurs Divorce – by Marc Brown
  • Was it the chocolate pudding? – (Age 2-6) By Sandra Levins and Bryan Langdo
  • Mum and Dad Glue – (Age 3-5) By Kes Gray and Lee Wildish
  • When My Parents Forgot How To Be Friends – (Age 4-7 years) Jennifer Moore-Mallinos & Marta Fabrega
  • Two Birthday Cakes – (Age 4-8) By Danielle Jaku-Greenfield

For older children

  • It’s Not The End Of The World – (Age 8-13) By Judy Blume
  • The Case of the Scary Divorce – (Age 9-12) By Carl Pickhardt
  • The Suitcase Kid – (Ages 9-14) by Jacqueline Wilson
  • Goggle Eyes – (Ages 12-16) By Anne Fine