Tasha Bevan-Stewart, a specialist in collaborative family law practice, explains why this week is ‘Good Divorce Week’ across England and Wales.
Most family lawyers belong to an organisation called ‘Resolution,’ which encourages us to reduce conflict and adopt a constructive approach to resolving family law issues. The Courts are increasingly commenting that too much time and money is spent on fighting over money or children in Court when couples get divorced. As family lawyers we can help clients explore less contentious options, which also save them time and money. This week, family law practitioners are promoting out-of-court solutions to family law clients and celebrating the good work that is being done in this field.
Collaborative practice is a way of dealing with practical and legal issues on relationship breakdown round-table, with your lawyer there to support and advise you throughout the process. Many clients are finding that engaging with their ex- and lawyers collaboratively leads to better, more positive outcomes in a financial settlement and it avoids the stress and costs of going to Court. Mediation is another very good option which avoids court proceedings in cases where the parties can talk directly to each other with the help of a trained facilitator. Arbitration is also now available to clients dealing with financial or child-related disputes on family breakdown.
Clients using the collaborative approach or mediation are able to remind each other that their children are often the most important priority in their lives and keep the focus on preserving relationships going forward. Parents know that they are going to have to continue to co-parent following a divorce or break-up, and talking to each other with the support of legal professionals helps them prepare for this. Collaborative practice can also involve family consultants, financial advisers and other professionals who are on hand to advise.
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