The Telegraph has recently reported that nearly half of all children will have seen their parents divorce by the time they reach the age of 16. Whilst the number of divorces occurring each year is reasonably well publicised, this is still quite an alarming statistic.
Divorce can be a traumatic time for the husband and wife and it’s possible to fail to properly consider the feelings of any children of the family. Parents need to bear in mind that although their marriage has ended, their role as a parent has not. The negative affect that divorce can have on children should therefore always be kept in mind where possible.
No child wants to see their parents arguing over assets, money or even the contact they will have with their non-resident parent. If possible, divorcing couples should sit down together, identify their assets and liabilities then try to reach agreements about these and any children of the marriage.
Often at least one of the parties will want legal advice regarding the divorce process and what they are entitled to. This is not a reason for relations between the parties to break down, it is perfectly reasonable to want to know more about the usually unfamiliar situation someone has wound up in.
The collaborative process is the most amicable method of divorce solicitors can facilitate. The partner in charge of our family department, Justine Osmotherley, is a collaboratively trained lawyer. This process involves meetings between the couple and their respective solicitors. The focus is on resolving matters without going through the courts. The aim is that after a few meetings, the couple will have reached agreements about their divorce and finances so that the divorce can be finalised and a consent order finalising financial matters can be prepared then lodged with the court in due course.
Another less adversarial option is mediation. The rules have changed and now before a party can make an application to court for a financial order, they are required to be assessed to see if mediation is suitable unless one of the exceptions applies. Mediation is similar to collaborative law but an independent mediator would be present at the meetings between the parties. The mediator would discuss the points in issue with the parties and try to facilitate agreements being reached. Sometimes an independent person’s involvement can help. The parties can then go back to their respective solicitors for advice, assistance and guidance.
However, these alternative routes are not suitable for every divorcing couple and for some couples, the traditional court route is the only option. Nevertheless, we always encourage our clients to try to resolve matters as amicably as possible. Where children are involved we emphasise that this is even more important, divorce is already a difficult process so by keeping relations civil, children should be spared the additional hurt of seeing their parents engaged in a lengthy legal battle.
Here at Clarion, we utilise our wealth of experience and always give practical advice and suggestions to try to ensure that our clients’ divorces are as amicable as possible. This achieves the same end result but saves pain for all concerned, time and ultimately all important costs.
If you have any queries or would like to speak to someone in the family team, please contact Justine Osmotherley on 0113 336 3323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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