Divorce is never easy but before you rush off to see a lawyer, take time to think. A bad divorce can leave lasting scars, not just on you and your spouse, but on your children too.
If you were asked at this stage what is the most important thing in the divorce process, you would, if you have children, point to them; if not, it would be to get out of the relationship financially secure, if possible, and move on with your self respect intact.
Resolution lawyers are committed to a non-confrontational approach to divorce, and encourage couples to seek shared solutions and to reach agreement.
However, the traditional way of dealing with the breakdown of the relationship remains one of “us and them”. You instruct your solicitor who fires off a letter to your spouse, they rush off to their lawyer and the paperwork starts flying back and forward and the legal bills mount up. Both you and your spouse may become entrenched in positions where you really do not want to be. There is also a danger that you feel excluded from the decision-making process, but you have every right to expect that your voice should be heard, and acknowledged, and that you are there, at the centre of everything.
What if there were a different way? Where you can sit down with your lawyer, your partner, your partner’s lawyer and sort it all out without that mountain of paperwork building up. You share your hopes, your aspirations, your expectations and even your fears, and the four of you work together to create an agreement with which you all concur. You emerge from the process ready to get on with the rest of your life without the bitterness and unresolved anger that so often accompanies the divorce process.
The approach is called collaborative law, and for many couples and their children, it is proving the very best way forward. It can be used not just for the financial side of things, but can also help to sort out living arrangements for the children once separation has taken place.