The breakdown of a relationship is difficult for everyone involved. No-one enters into a marriage expecting it to fail, and separation and divorce can have a major emotional impact on you and your family.
We have years of experience in helping our clients get through these emotional and difficult times. No two separations are the same. It’s our priority to understand every situation – and offer clear, realistic options.
Here are six steps you can take to make sure the process is as smooth as possible.
First, decide what type of relationship you would like with your ex
Look for ways to achieve this. By making decisions together, you can decide how to find an outcome that suits you both, and help form the relationship you will have once the separation has taken place. This is especially important if you have children as the best outcome for them will probably involve a high degree of cooperation between you and your ex.
Second, find a solicitor you trust, and who reflects your approach
It’s important that you choose a solicitor who will guide you and give you fair, clear and impartial advice – as well as help you achieve your realistic goals.
A solicitor who is a member of Resolution will have committed to working in a conciliatory,
non-confrontational way to help resolve conflict for your benefit and, most importantly, to promote for the welfare of any children.
Third, choose the right process
Separation, divorce and resolving the consequential arrangements for children and finances (money) can be carried out through discussions with your ex, through solicitor-led negotiations, through the court process, through family mediation or through collaborative family law. Your solicitor can explain the different options and help you decide which is the right one for you, based on your individual circumstances and your needs
Fourth, think about your medium and long-term future
Your solicitor’s involvement is temporary and short-term, but (especially where you have children) your relationship with them and your former partner will continue. It is therefore very important to think about: how the divorce will affect you and your family going forward – and how can you minimise any adverse/negative impact.
It’s important to think about the milestones in your children’s lives and how you and your ex would like to be involved in the future. This can be more complicated in “blended family” situations where more than simply the children’s natural parents are involved.
Fifth, do your research
Be sure you have a clear understanding of your joint and separate financial positions, your future needs, and how the law relates to you before you make any agreements with your ex
You need to understand the legal, financial and tax implications of the decisions you make. You should therefore obtain the relevant advice as soon as practicable – for the short, medium and long- terms. Think about how the arrangements you make for any children will work for them – not just how these arrangements will work for you and your ex.
Sixth, be realistic
Separation and divorce are never easy, but your solicitor is there to help you find the best way forward for you. By knowing which options are available to you and by following the process that best suits you and your family, you can get there at the right pace and in the right way for everyone involved.
Like what you hear? Get in touch with our friendly and personable Family team on 0117 906 9400 or firstname.lastname@example.org