Divorce. It’s a very strong word. One that encompasses different emotions and feelings for different people. A common factor that is clear from clients is the desire to want to find their way through the process as positively as they can. As part of Resolution’s Good Divorce Week, we look at the steps you can take to try to divorce amicably, minimise costs and move forward positively.
The decision to separate can often be a daunting one. Sometimes it is something that takes time to consider. Sometimes it is a conclusion that can seem to come out of the blue. It is important to remember that the breakdown of any relationship is similar to the grieving process. There can be denial, anger, bargaining, depression and eventually acceptance. Each person involved may experience these emotions in different intensities at different times. Some may not experience any at all. Recognising and acknowledging feelings and emotions at an early stage can help you find the right support to guide you through the process of separating constructively.
At the earliest opportunity it is recommended that you seek some form of legal advice. Many solicitors offer free initial consultations to discuss the options available to you and help you consider the next steps. Resolution members are committed to trying to help you find positive solutions for you and your family. Each Resolution Member agrees to a code of conduct, ensuring you are able to obtain professional advice that will assist your family in moving forward.
What options are available to me?
Every situation is different and it is important to find the right process for you. The first consideration should always be Alternative Dispute Resolution. These are different processes that are available to separating couples, geared towards assisting people with finding a way forward themselves rather than having a final decision imposed on them by the courts.
Mediation is a voluntary process that enables discussions between you and your ex-partner to be managed by an independent, impartial person. It provides space and time for you to consider different proposals for how you could move forward. You can discuss anything at mediation and bring different people into the process to provide guidance, including independent financial advisers and family consultants.
This process encompasses the principles of mediation, ensuring that everyone is committed to trying to resolve things amicably and work together to achieve a positive solution moving forward. In the Collaborative process both parties would appoint their own collaborative lawyers to support them. Meetings would be had between the parties and their Collaborative Lawyers, working together. As with mediation, different experts can be brought into the process to help shed light on any difficult points.
A relatively new form of dispute resolution in family law, Hybrid Mediation adopts the principle of civil mediation. Both parties appoint a mediator, whose role remains the same as the traditional family mediator. In this process, if you have a lawyer appointed they will be present. This enables any final agreements to be recorded and any court paperwork drawn up.
Sometimes there are certain points of contention that need a decision to be made. Arbitration enables you to appoint someone to make a decision on an issue without the need to ask a Judge to get involved. How the adjudication is conducted depends on the situation but usually matters can be dealt with on the papers without there having to be any form of hearing.
If you are thinking of separating it is important to make sure you take advice at the early stages to discuss what is right for you. Contact an Excello Law solicitor today for a free consultation.