National Divorce Day 2021


Jane Auty

It’s here again, National Divorce Day, a day on which some divorce lawyers report a spike in the number of enquiries from people wishing to commence divorce proceedings.

Although largely considered a myth by many, with 2020 being in most a seriously challenging year for many thanks to Covid-19 and in addition to the usual stresses of Christmas, it’ll be no surprise to witness an increase in enquiries this New Year. 2020 has been a turbulent year and with courts moving to remote hearings, reducing their staff or even closing, delays in cases being progressed have been the result. In an attempt to mitigate the lack of progress we have increasingly focused on alternative ways of resolving family disputes to save both time and money.

Choosing to separate is never an easy decision to make.  What is commonly touted as a stressful, emotional, time consuming, and expensive experience, it’s a decision that people fear in anticipation of a torrid few months if not years of legal wrangling BUT there are another ways.  Consider alternative ways of trying to resolve issues arising from your separation without the need for entering into an exhausting, emotionally draining and expensive court battle. This is never going to be an easy time but there are ways you can reduce your stress and preserve your relationship to ensure you move forward in a constructive conciliatory way.  At Thornton Jones we can offer a range of alternative options best suited to your individual needs and with our expert guidance we will assist you in navigating this difficult time.

Our services at Thornton Jones include:


Clare Thornton and Shelley Wales are both experienced mediators and are passionate about assisting parties through this process. Mediation usually involves both parties separately meeting the mediator to then having a joint meeting to resolve the issues in dispute. Mediation is a cost effective way of proceeding and avoids the stress of litigation through the court process.  It allows the parties the opportunity to openly discuss their concerns and put forward their point of view in a way which encourages ad promotes settlement.

Collaborative Law

Clare Thornton and Jane Auty are both experienced Collaborative Lawyers and great advocates of this process having seen the benefits of this over a number of years.  Collaborative Law involves both parties signing up to the process and with the assistance of their lawyers who are by their side throughout arrange a number of 4 way meetings to resolve issues arising from their separation.  This can relate to both children and financial arrangements.  For example, parties exchange information and negotiate during the meetings with the added benefit of knowing they themselves are in control of the discussions and set the agenda of what is important to them.  This enables parties to reach an outcome which is beneficial to the whole family and puts them at the centre of the process.


Clare Thornton is an experienced Arbitrator and has successfully assisted parties in resolving disputes where she has been appointed to adjudicate. Arbitration is a dispute resolution process can be much quicker than the court process and it is conducted in private. Arbitration has been particularly useful during the Covid 19 pandemic as an alternative to hearings, where the courts have not had the resources to deal with substantial hearings.  It has meant parties have been able to list a remote private final hearing at their own convenience in order to reach a resolution, rather than having the uncertainty of when a case will be listed.


Of course not every case is suitable for alternative dispute resolution and there are occasions when urgent steps need to be taken through the court process.  The head of our Family Law team, Steven Eldridge, is an experienced family law litigator dealing with both financial and children act applications.

For more information please call us to discuss your needs and to make an appointment.

☎️ Call our Wakefield office on 01924 290 029
☎️ Call our Garforth office on 0113 246 4423
☎️ Call our Ossett office on 01924 586 466

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