Today marks the start of ‘Good Divorce Week’, an annual campaign led by Resolution in an attempt to change practices and behaviours so that when divorce happens, the impacts on everyone involved are kept to a minimum.
What does a ‘Good Divorce’ look like?
Divorce can be a stressful and upsetting journey which, if incorrectly handled, can result in long-term relationship damage that may be irreparable. The process of finalising a divorce involves discussing and agreeing many important aspects of your life from the financial to the family – both of which can be, and often are, very emotive matters to discuss.
A ‘good divorce’ is one where compromise has taken place, both parties have worked together to reach an agreed outcome, discussions have been productive, calm, focussed, and without conflict, and particularly where children are involved, you have maintained a level of relationship that allows you both the properly parent after divorce.
When talking practical terms, a ‘good divorce’ due to the amicability of all parties will be concluded faster and thus cheaper, allowing the marital finances to be retained by the divorcing couple (rather than funding legal fees) and allowing the individuals to move on sooner.
Good Divorce Week helps to highlight all the positive actions we can take to ensure that separation and divorce can be free of conflict. Good Divorce Week 2021 will focus on how parents can embrace a child-focused approach to separation.
Hannah’s Tips for a Good Divorce
As skilled and experienced Resolution members, we are here to help you on your journey. Hannah Bowes, Family Law Solicitor here at Thornton Jones Solicitors, shares her top tips for approaching divorce in a way that will ensure that you are giving the best chance of an amicable and non-confrontational divorce that allows you both to focus on the facts of the matter and to keep emotion off the table.
Seek legal advice early
Often, when a relationship breaks down, the journey to ‘decision day’ will have been long and drawn-out, probably with many heated discussions, disagreements and arguments. Unfortunately, all of this will have ‘set the tone’ for any formal discussions that may take place. Seeking legal advice early will help you avoid these damaging behaviours and will allow you to calmly and without conflict, share your thoughts on your divorce and how you see it concluding.
An expert will listen to your situation and advise on the most appropriate way forward which might involve either mediation or collaborative law, both proven to be extremely successful in helping separating and divorcing couples achieve an amicable outcome.
Always place your children first
During a relationship breakdown, and the ensuing separation and divorce, it’s often too easy to lose sight of the little people in your lives. What they see and hear at home will affect them. How they observe the relationship breakdown and what they see and hear might not be an accurate portrayal of reality, however children can be easily influenced and if shouting, name calling, and raised voices are heard, then the relationship between children and parents can be affected.
Remember that you will need to continue to parent together after divorce and you will both be required to be involved in your children’s lives and party to all key decisions. Maintaining a working relationship, void of tension and animosity, will help in ensuring the right decisions are made for your children.
Be transparent about your finances
Hiding or being dishonest about your finances will only serve to cause delays and conflict. At time of divorce, you are required to disclose all your financial matters regardless of whether they are joint finances, or finances in your own name.
People who attempt to hide finances (usually assets such as savings and investments or business interests) often get found out and this lengthens the divorce process, causes friction and conflict between all parties, and will result in the costs of divorce increasing.
Enter the process prepared to compromise
It’s very unlikely you’ll leave the relationship with everything that you want. From whom gets the house to who gets the dog, it all needs to be discussed and agreed and shared in the fairest way possible.
Entering the process with a fixed impression of what you want from the settlement, and an unwillingness to compromise, will result in your case being referred to Court, where your views and wishes will not be taken into consideration and a Judge will assess the situation and order an outcome.
Consider Family Arbitration as an alternative to court
If you really can’t agree and all negotiations have failed, then there is a much more cost-effective option than court – family Arbitration. Family Arbitration will give you a legally binding outcome but is dealt with by a private experienced family arbitrator who, whilst you will have to pay their fees, will be able to give you an outcome in a much quicker time frame than the traditional court process, and can offer flexibility as to how that outcome is reached.
Our Promise to You as Resolution Members
Resolution membership is about the approach we take to our work, this means that we will:
- Reduce or manage any conflict and confrontation; for example, by not using inflammatory language.
- Support and encourage families to put the best interests of any children first.
- Act with honesty, integrity and objectivity.
- Help clients understand and manage the potential long-term financial and emotional consequences of decisions.
- Listen to and treat everyone with respect and without judgment.
- Use my experience and knowledge to guide clients through the options available to them.
- Continually develop my knowledge and skills.
- Use the Resolution Guides to Good Practice in my day-to-day work.
PLUS, we will work with other Resolution members to uphold this Code and ensure it is at the heart of everything we do.
Get in touch
If you wish to discuss further, then please call us for a free and no obligation chat at any of our four offices.
Call our Wakefield office on 01924 290 029
Call our Garforth office on 0113 246 4423
Call our Ossett office on 01924 586 466
Call our Sherburn in Elmet office on 01977 350 500
About Hannah Bowes
Hannah is a Family Law Solicitor at Thornton Jones Solicitors. Hannah joined Thornton Jones in early 2017 after gaining valuable experience at both Irwin Mitchell and Stewarts Law. She commenced her training to become a Solicitor in early November 2017 and qualified as a Solicitor in June 2019. She subsequently joined the Family Law team here at Thornton Jones and specialises in helping couples navigate the Court process when separating and divorcing.
Thornton Jones Solicitors are Family Law Solicitors in Wakefield. We have a wealth of experience in helping couples separate and divorce. We are also renowned Family Law Solicitors in Garforth and with offices in Ossett and Sherburn in Elmet we are accessible to all who need us in West Yorkshire.
If you are looking for Family Law Solicitors in Sherburn In Elmet or Family Law Solicitors in Ossett then please call us. We are here to help.