Take your time
Choosing to get divorced is a huge decision. Relationships can go through tough periods so take some time to reflect on if it is what you want. You might want to see a marriage counsellor to explore if the marriage could be saved.
Find a lawyer who suits you
Divorce is a very personal matter and so the lawyer advising you should be someone who you can trust and listens to you fully. Choose someone who is a member of Resolution, an organisation committed to resolving disputes in a non-confrontational way. Members believe that family law disputes should be dealt with in a constructive way designed to preserve peoples dignity and to encourage agreements.
It is important to remember that no matter how isolated you may feel, you are not alone. When a relationship comes to an end, it can be a very distressing time for you. While family lawyers are accustomed to assisting clients through difficult periods, you may consider seeking additional specialist support from a counsellor or therapist. This support can be crucial to help you work through the emotional impact of divorce and deal with any issues you may have faced during your relationship.
Put your children first
During divorce proceedings, it is quite easy to forget about the impact that the divorce can have on any children of the relationship. Focus on your children and do not badmouth your spouse in front of them (even if they are badmouthing you to them!). Furthermore, stay off social media and resist venting details of your divorce to anyone who will listen. Rise above, take a deep breath and be the bigger person. Divorce will not change your relationship as parents, regardless of how your ex-partner may behave during the process. Children should not be leveraged and should not be exposed to the proceedings (for example, they should not be around for conversations with your lawyer). In terms of the finances, adequate provision for the children’s upkeep should be a main priority for both parties above their own needs.
In short, being as prepared and organised as possible from the get-go often results in a less costly and better outcome. Gather all the relevant documents relating to your bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, tax returns etc. Make copies and take the copies to a trusted friend or family member. If you are used to using a joint bank account, open a new bank account in your sole name and establish ways for you to be able to communicate privately.
Try Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Court proceedings can be damaging, both financially and emotionally, and should be seen as a last resort. There are many alternatives such as mediation, arbitration and collaborative law, which can offer a faster, cheaper, more private and more dignified way to reach a settlement with your ex-partner.
If you are thinking about divorce call our Family Law team for a no obligation chat about your options. You can call 8.00am to 9.00pm Monday to Friday and 9.00am to 7.00pm on Weekends on 01257 422 500.