Mike Wells first trained as a collaborative lawyer in 2007 .

The collaborative approach to relationship breakdown and divorce is defined by the focus on needs of each person, rather than legal entitlements.

Collaboration recognises that a separation or divorce is not merely a legal process focussed on an ‘ending’, but is actually about relationships and about managing a transition towards a future way of being.

Make no mistake, Collaboration is difficult and challenging, but its rewards typically flow once the Collaboration has ended…



Many believe that it can provide the most comprehensively thorough and engaging process that assists clients to arrive at an outcome that can not only endure but also provides genuine opportunity for clients to have acquired and refined skills, abilities and insights (with the assistance of the lawyers and other neutral professionals) so that future conflict can be more easily avoided or overcome.

Some of the more notable elements of collaboration are:

Engaging in open, honest and transparent communication with the other lawyer – sharing each client’s instructions to the extent that it is helpful for each party (and their lawyer) to know the aims, worries, aspirations, plans and so forth. Not to mention that non-legal issues may well need to be heard, acknowledged, demonstrably understood and taken into account.

Working closely within a collaborative team (typically a neutral psychologist and neutral financial professional) who meet regularly through a collaborative process to debrief, share their thoughts, concerns, ideas and information so as to collectively help BOTH clients reach their stated aims and address each person’s needs that have been clearly identified at the outset and that are known to all.

Assisting clients to see the other person’s perspective, as much as it might be in contrast to their own values or beliefs, because without doing so outcomes that can endure are probably never going to be reached.

In Collaboration lawyers don’t ignore the law, but they intentionally make sure that it does not get “in the way” of the bigger picture.

Agree at the outset that no party will make unilateral decisions or threaten to take the other person to court. In fact all parties to the Collaboration sign a contract to this effect.