Fiona Dutton has retired and ceased to practice. Dutton Solictors is therefore now closed.


The collaborative process is essentially where each person can sit with the other around a table with their respective collaborative lawyers and talk, listen, discuss and create their own solutions with the benefit of legal advice throughout the process.

This process can be used to deal with how a couple separate or divorce or dissolve their civil partnership. It can be used to reach an amicable resolution to financial matters and children issues.

The aim of the collaborative process is to reach an amicable solution to matters without going to Court. This involves both the couples and their collaborative lawyers cooperating and problem solving with each other, being supportive and working as a team. In essence, you are very much in control of your collaborative process.

The process is conducted in four way meetings which avoids correspondence between solicitors. If you require assistance from other professionals, ie financial planners or family consultants, then these can be brought into the collaborative process. The process is designed to facilitate ongoing relationships with your spouse and your children.

Everyone agrees at the outset, by signing a participation agreement, that they will not go to Court. If the process breaks down and no resolution can be found and Court proceedings are the only option then each party must instruct new lawyers. This gives everyone a strong motivation to make the process work.

The collaborative process is an open and transparent one. You both make the decisions about your future with the benefit of legal advice throughout.

Fiona has been trained as a collaborative lawyer and can advise you further in respect of the collaborative process and whether it is suitable in your particular circumstances.