One Couple One Lawyer – A quick Q&A

one couple one lawyer divorce service at thrings

With so many routes available for divorce and separation, couples need to find the option that is right for them. Thrings’ One Couple One Lawyer (OCOL) service provides an efficient, collaborative and cost-effective approach that makes the process simpler for both parties.

Kate Barber, Partner in the Thrings Family Team and OCOL practitioner, answers some of the most regularly asked questions.

What is OCOL?

Simply put, One Couple One Lawyer gives a separating couple an amicable route to divorce by having a single lawyer representing both sides and acting in the interest of both parties to come to a mutually beneficial resolution on everything from financial to family matters. They can also draw up and submit all the legal paperwork for you both.

Is OCOL right for me?

Even if you have clear personal aspirations for the outcome of your divorce, or even don’t know what you want, OCOL can still be a suitable route for you. The key to a successful separation in the One Couple One Lawyer process is to have a willingness to be cooperative, be transparent and be ready to compromise.

What are the other options available?

There are a wide range of ways in which couples can separate. The most common forms of divorce are the traditional solicitor-led approach, where you reach an agreement by correspondence between two lawyers or through the court process – both of which tend to be costly, both financially and emotionally.

Alternatively, you can reach agreement through mediation which, similar to OCOL, is a more amiable legal option, but the lawyer is unable to provide tailored legal advice to either side and cannot draw up any formal documentation for you, meaning you would need to pay out for further legal support.

How costly is OCOL compared to the more usual routes to divorce?

With only one lawyer being employed to act for you both, the legal costs are realistically already far more efficient through the OCOL route. This would also usually mean that any additional professional expertise called upon through the process is also jointly instructed, with fees shared.

An additional benefit to the OCOL route is that by conducting the negotiations in private, it would also negate the need to go through costly court proceedings that are potentially open to the public.

How can I be reassured that, whilst representing both parties, the lawyer is acting in my interests?

Our OCOL practitioners will bring both parties together and act as a team. The lawyer will give specific advice openly at the meetings and provide both sides the tools and the information to make the right informed decisions for them.

For example, there could be more than one way to deal with the issue but, by giving the pros and cons for both sides, as well as providing expert advice on what a court might do in that situation, it enables them to work through the options to establish the best ones for their family.

What can be done to navigate any conflicts that may occur during the negotiations?

Whilst OCOL is a way for couples to separate on more amicable terms, it does not make the process immune to disagreements. If any were to arise, the lawyer would look to reality check the aspirations of both sides and establish whether considerations can be made to reach a positive outcome.

In the event that it cannot be resolved, either party can seek a legal opinion if needed and bring that opinion back to the meeting to discuss together.

Thrings Family lawyers are experienced in all areas of the law that are close to home. Whether it is marriages and pre-nuptial agreements, or divorces and separations, they will put your best interests first, taking the time to get to know you so that you are supported with sound advice tailored to your needs. To find out more, get in contact for a free options discussion or visit our new One Couple One Lawyer page.


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