Few families are untouched by divorce or separation and almost everyone has a horror story to tell about a ‘divorce from hell’. All the ingredients for trouble can be present when a couple splits up; denial, anger, mismatched emotional states, depression, fear, children and money. Surprisingly, some couples can get through these in a reasonably orderly way, but many don’t. They cannot communicate well, or at all, with each other and sometimes even their advisers do no better. This sets the scene for continuing acrimony long after the ink has dried on the final decree absolute and often well into the children’s adulthood.
Happily there are a number of ways to lessen these tensions and problems. In the first instance, choose a lawyer who is a member of Resolution which is an organisation of specialist family lawyers committed to reducing the heat that can often arise in separation and divorce. In addition, Family Mediation has been around for some time and more recently there is a growing interest in the use of Collaborative Family Law.
With Family Mediation the parties usually meet with an independent trained Family Mediator on a number of occasions, and work through their issues; they then can take advice from their own lawyers between sessions to ensure that they are on the right track. The expected outcome is an agreement that can be put to the divorce court by consent.
Collaborative Family Law is a different process involving each party using a Collaborative trained lawyer. Collaborative Law works upon the basis that differences will be sorted out without anyone going to a contested court hearing, using jointly-instructed financial and other professionals where necessary. There is a strong incentive to engage fully in this process as, if an agreement cannot be reached, there will be the extra wasted time and cost of instructing new lawyers as the collaborative lawyers are required to retire from the case. Again, an agreement for the court is the expected outcome without ever needing to attend court, which can it itself be a great source of stress.
If you want peace of mind, risks reduced and problems solved and/or more information about Family Mediation or Collaborative Law, call Zoe Robinson or Carmelita Ardren.