New Year pledge could make for a better resolution
25th January, 2016
With the New Year upon us, many people will be taking stock of their situations and contemplating change in their lives.
Many of us start the New Year by making Resolutions of what we hope to achieve in the coming 12 months. It might be giving up alcohol after too many parties over the festive period, losing weight after enjoying rather too many mince pies or getting a new job.
Some start the New Year with a resolve to make a completely new start and to make a decisive break with the past. It is therefore no surprise that January is frequently stated to be the busiest month for enquiries made to lawyers about divorce and separation.
A good resolution for those contemplating separation, or already going through it, is to maintain a civilised relationship with their former partner, where possible. This is especially the case in a relationship where children are involved.
For some people, asking the Court to determine issues regarding finances and children is necessary.
Whatever people’s intentions may be, there are times when a relationship has broken down so far that this is the most appropriate course of action. In these sorts of situations, using experienced legal advisers can take some of the heat out of what is a difficult situation for both parties.
However, in scenarios where this is not the case, there are alternative methods to resolving relationship breakdown which may be preferable.
Separating couples may wish to use a dispute resolution process option, such as mediation or collaborative family practice, to resolve any issues.
Mediators are trained, neutral third parties who meet with separating couples to help them work out financial, family and practical issues of their separation.
For those who would prefer to have their lawyer by their side throughout, collaborative family practice can be considered, whereby the parties and their lawyers engage in a series of meetings to discuss and agree the details of their separation.
One of the advantages of this approach is that it leaves the parties in control of the outcome, rather than a Judge in Court imposing a decision upon them, for example.
In the collaborative process, couples have access to family consultants to assist with the emotional impact of the separation and also specially trained financial experts if necessary.
Some couples are able to resolve their separation amicably between themselves or through negotiations via their lawyers.
As can be seen, when it comes to dealing with relationship breakdown, it is not a case of ‘one size fits all’.
Couples contemplating separation should be aware of the options available to them and ideally choose together the process most suited for them and their family.
Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.
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