Good Divorce Week (28 November to 2 December 2022) is an annual awareness campaign run by Resolution, an organisation that represents over 6,500 family professionals, which helps people find a better way to divorce.
Divorces are on the increase again with the most recent statistics showing 113,000 divorces in 2021 – up nearly 10% on the previous year – and the impact on wait times is stark with already overstretched family courts facing huge backlogs. Figures also show that divorces under the old pre April 2022 law can take up to a year to conclude. Even those divorces issued under the new “no blame regime” are going to take longer than the promised 6 months for the divorce alone. At the same time cases involving disputes relating to children were down by 7% during the last year, they are taking on average, six weeks longer to reach a conclusion and estimates suggest it takes nearly two years to resolve financial matters between partners.
That leaves many families in limbo for over a year which of course has a knock-on effect on children’s schooling and family finances. We want to offer another perspective, an emotionally stable view based on decades of experience, to work together with families on a solution bespoke to them to come to a legal separation without going through court proceedings.
Is there such a thing as a ‘Good Divorce’? We think there can be. A ‘good divorce’ we see as being characterised by both parties considering the result to meet the needs of the parties and, most importantly, the children and looking to a future where children can see their parents acting in their best interests, despite the breakdown of the marriage. When children are involved, maintaining open communication can make a huge difference to their experience of the divorce and their long term future emotionally and socially.
The impact of a divorce on a family is all encompassing. It is a point of absolute crisis for everyone, effecting their home, lifestyle and future of the family, their friends and regular contacts. However, there are different options available and together with those involved we will work through those, aspiring to be as non-acrimonious as possible, wherever the situation allows.
In order then for us to keep suitable cases out of court, from the moment we start we look at whether there are opportunities for guidance, divorce coaching and independent financial advice. In working together like this, we are able to create a relationship with our client that has their needs and wants at the centre of all we do, finding solutions to individual circumstances.
Most importantly, this approach will keep cases out of court and save time, money and have less impact emotionally and so those options are always preferable, though of course not always appropriate. Each and every case is different and we want to find the right solution for your individual circumstances, however that goes – that could be going through mediation, collaborative law, using a private dispute resolution judge or arbitration for example.
We know too that a good divorce doesn’t just end with the final order for divorce, where children are involved these decisions have an impact for years to come and we want to try to prepare everyone for the future. A ‘good divorce’ will leave all family members in a balanced and fair place, looking forward to the future as quickly and painlessly as possible.
I have helped hundreds of couples and families over the past 20 years I’ve been at Raworths, working through the often-daunting steps involved, and I hope that we have highlighted that there are always options which could lead to a quicker, less painful ‘good divorce’, to the benefit of everyone involved.
Raworths’ Family team is recognised as Family/Matrimonial law specialists, ranked highly by leading independent legal guides Legal 500 UK and Chambers UK (Band 1). Carmelita Ardren is Head of Family at Raworths.
Published on 5 December 2022