Some couples’ divorces can make for salacious reading, particularly those of celebrities and high net worth individuals. They can often give rise to important rulings as we have often written in this blog, writes David Hodgson, a Partner in our Family & Divorce team.
At Bishop and Sewell our approach is to help our clients achieve a divorce in the best way possible. Resolving a breakdown in a non-confrontational way is infinitely preferable when a couple are working through all the upheaval that the end of a marriage can bring, including to their children and extended family members. There are very few instances where sharing information on social media or with a newspaper can help either side or be constructive.
Choosing the right solicitor is essential
The relationship between you and your solicitor is important as well as choosing the right way to resolve issues. When children are involved, it is important to consider the future and if possible, to establish a positive working relationship with your ex once the settlement of your assets has been addressed.
At the start of the process, you should allow yourself and others time to recognise that you are going through a personally difficult time. Not everyone involved will be at the same emotional stage, sometimes in even accepting that the marriage is going to end. Being patient and taking your time to constructively consider the best way to resolve issues will often define the relationship that you will have in the years to come.
Support from trusted advisers, family and friends can be helpful. Support however differs from advice. Ask lots of questions – you will not be the only person in your circle who has been divorced – but you should rely on your solicitor’s advice regarding the conduct of your negotiations with the other party’s team.
Your solicitor should be able to reassure you and give you confidence that your divorce is being handled in the manner best suited for you. Ask whether your solicitor is a member of Resolution, an organisation whose members strive to provide a service, which reduces conflict, act with honesty and integrity and put children’s interests at the heart of any decisions. Also, do they have the necessary expertise? There are several professional accreditations such as Specialist Resolution Accreditation and the Law Society Family Panel.
Choosing a family solicitor is a serious matter and it takes time. However, the more work you put into getting the right solicitor for you, the more confident you will feel with your solicitor.
When dealing with financial matters, it is best to avoid off the shelf solutions. Online services cannot give you the insight that sometimes complex settlements, where assets may be offshore or in multiple jurisdictions, that an experienced Family & Divorce solicitor can provide. Even in relatively simple matters you are dealing with the division of wealth that may have accumulated over several years. Ensuring that this is done properly will certainly be worth the expense so that no unexpected and costly problems arise in future.
Choosing the right dispute resolution method
Maintaining privacy may be of fundamental importance to those in the media spotlight, those whose financial affairs are commercially sensitive or those who are high net worth individuals. The courts are trying to be more transparent. This has inevitably led them to opening up more and more to the media and being more reluctant to impose any reporting restrictions. There are various dispute resolution options such as mediation, arbitration or collaborative law, which will avoid the prying eyes of the media and are all approaches which an experienced Family lawyer can talk through with you.
In my experience the best divorces are those in which both couples keep open the lines of respectful communication and are reasonable and realistic in their negotiations, but it is fundamental in getting to the best outcome that the right way of resolving the issue is chosen.
If you are affected by similar issues or would like to have a related discussion in confidence, please call me quoting Ref CB269 on 020 7091 2869 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The above is accurate as at 25 January 2022. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times.