Is there such a thing as a good divorce?
22nd November, 2018
Family Law Partner Sandy Edwards believes there is.
Next week, from 26 to 30 November, Resolution, an organisation of 6,500 family lawyers and other professionals, will be promoting “Good Divorce Week” which will focus on how separating and divorcing couples can put their children’s needs first and limit the impact of conflict.
The week falls during the government’s divorce law consultation on reforming the legal requirements for divorce hopefully shifting the focus from blame and recrimination. Sandy confirms that lawyers from all over the country are writing to their MPs to encourage them to support reform.
Sandy hints that there will be more in the press next week with some compelling statistics to support the argument for change but, in addition to a change in the law, divorcing and separating couples and their lawyers can also adopt a different approach.
Sandy comments :-
“The best way to resolve matters is for the couple to talk but sometimes that can be hard and unless they are themselves divorce lawyers they may not have the specialist knowledge to be able to make informed decisions on issues such as pensions.
In addition, whilst friends and family can offer an invaluable ear in the early stages, very often specialist advice can only be given by a trained lawyer and both parties may also benefit from the support of a qualified Family Consultant or advice from a specialist financial advisor.”
Like a number of other experienced family lawyers Sandy has looked to change the way divorcing couples resolve the tricky issues that arise from separation and has trained as a Collaborative Lawyer. Sandy explains that the collaborative process involves the parties and their lawyers signing an agreement not to go to Court.
The agreement also encourages the parties to a focus on the future, fairness and the interests of any child involved and specifically discourages bad faith, dwelling in the past and the denigration of the other party or indeed any behaviour that puts at risk the their future relationship. Sandy explains that one of the main aims of the collaborative process is for the divorcing couple to be able to maintain a good relationship so that they can co parent in the future.
“Good Divorce Week” will focus on how conflict impacts in particular on the children of a divorcing couple and will further support a change in the law. Sandy is keen however to make separating couples aware that whilst the law itself may be lagging behind there are a number of like minded lawyers and other professionals already seeking to make a difference by allowing couples to engage in a process that, whilst recognising that the marriage might have some to an end, strives to maintain a post separation relationship in the best interests of all concerned.
For a free 30 minute discussion on how collaborative might work in your case please contact Sandy Edwards.
Shrewsbury Contact – Family Law Partner