Divorce is recognised as one of the most stressful and traumatic life events. The legal aspect of the separation can be lengthy, complex and expensive with potential for one party to be highly critical of the other. The attitude and approach of the other party can be frustrating and often impacts on the costs and time scale of the negotiations and court proceedings.
There are various emotional stages of the separation and divorce process which often impact on the conduct of parties. These include; shock and denial, anger, resentment, blame, as well as fear, anxiety and guilt.
One of the most common concerns of separating parties is fear of change and the unknown. The fear of losing their home, time with their children and their relationship as they know it is a very strong and often an all consuming emotion. The feelings of uncertainty are very difficult to manage and when parties are unable to reach agreements themselves, the outcome of their separation is in the hands of a Judge who has no knowledge of them or their family. They have no control over possibly one of the most important decisions of their lives.
During the most challenging of emotions it is often difficult to think clearly and make good long term decisions. This is the time when legal expertise and support is indispensable. Legal advice should be sought early, to reassure and enhance confidence in the way in which the separation and divorce can be approached and resolved.
At Farleys we have a number of collaborative lawyers, who are trained and committed to resolving family breakdown in order to reach the best solutions for you and your family. The collaborative process is a way of dealing with all aspect of the separation together, with the support and advice of specialist solicitors throughout.
The process involves having meetings with your former partner. You both have your own independent legal advisors present. The meetings are arranged at your convenience and at a venue that will enable you both to be open about your needs and the needs of your family.
You set the agenda so are able to address the issues that you feel need to be discussed most urgently. These issues may be relating to the children or extended family that would not be considered by a court as urgent issues. This gives you control of your own separation and the ability to address what is important to you, and in what order. You are not governed by a timetable that is imposed by a court that can often be lengthy and inconvenient.
Separating couples who have resolved their family breakdown using the collaborative process describe it as a dignified and private way to resolve issues for themselves and their family. The method of meeting and resolving issues together removes the feelings of uncertainty and loss of control that can be felt if the decision is left to a Judge. It also reassures the children of the family and helps them to cope with the separation if you are able to meet and ultimately agree matters together.
The collaborative approach reduces hostility that can often be felt during court proceedings. It avoids the expense, stress and often very unpleasant experience of the court arena.
At the conclusion of the collaborative process the agreement can be put into the form of a Court Order which is enforceable as any other order would be. It provides legal certainty without the need to attend court.