I am separating from my spouse/ partner – what professional advice or support can I get?
Mark Chapman, Head of Family Law replies:
Divorce and separation can often lead to conflict and heartache. Having the right professional advice and support can make all the difference.
Reaching an agreement between yourselves
Negotiating your own agreement, with or without support, can be the cheapest way to a settlement and at first glance can seem the easiest. However, it can be a complex process with many aspects you and your partner will need to consider, and so it is not suitable for everyone.
Mediation and MIAMs
Mediators are trained to help resolve disputes over all issues faced by divorcing and separating couples or specific issues such as arrangements for any children. Mediators are neutral and are there to manage the mediation process and help with the exchange of information. The process works best if you instruct a lawyer to provide independent legal advice alongside the mediation process.
Under the collaborative process each person appoints their own collaboratively trained lawyer and you and your respective lawyers all meet together to work things out face to face. Both of you will have your lawyer by your side throughout the process and so you will have their support and legal advice as you go.
In family arbitration you and your partner appoint an arbitrator, usually with the help of a solicitor. Your solicitor can also advise and assist you throughout the process. The arbitrator will make a decision that will be final and binding between the parties on any financial and property disputes arising from family relationships.
Lawyer negotiations on your behalf
Some people choose this approach because they think that an agreement is not possible in their circumstances; for others it is the last resort after all options have been exhausted. Outcomes often depend largely on what lawyers would expect the outcome to be of any eventual court process.
Going to court
If an agreement cannot be reached, an application is sent to the court, although this sometimes happens right away if there are urgent issues to be resolved.
Take time to think through your options and do so with professional advice and guidance. Your individual circumstances will determine which of these options will be best for you and your family.
If you have a query or would like to book an appointment please get in touch with our team on 01256 320555 email firstname.lastname@example.org.