Family & Divorce
Is it true what they say – that it is not divorce itself, but the way you divorce, that takes the heaviest toll? Celia Christie, our family solicitor, certainly believes so. Celia is one of a pioneering group of solicitors across the county who are offering a whole new way of making the break, and surviving the aftermath.
It is a sad fact of life, but relationship breakdown is here to stay, whether for those married, in a civil partnership or living together. The real cost to the couple is not merely financial, although anyone who has been through the process will know how costly court battles can be. The real cost is the personal and emotional turmoil that so often accompanies the end of a relationship. A bad divorce can leave lasting scars, not just on the two main protagonists, but also on their children.
Imagine a situation in which you sit down together with your former partner, and your two solicitors, and commit to sorting it out together. You share your hopes, your aspirations, your expectations and even your fears, and the four of you work together to reach a settlement you can all agree on. 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.
So how does it work? At the outset, everyone enters into a written agreement not to go to court. With your former partner, you set the agenda and work at the pace you feel comfortable with. You commit to full disclosure and all talk openly about the issues that matter to you. It sends out remarkably positive signals to children who benefit hugely from knowing that their parents are working out their differences together and constructively. It’s not any easy option; it requires the right mind set from everyone involved, and not all situations will be suitable. But for couples for whom it is right, it provides a genuine resolution to marital breakdown and those who come out the other end report a genuine sense of well-being.
For a full list of local collaborative lawyers visit the Resolution website at: www.resolution.org.uk/alternatives_to_court/