When a marriage is nearing an end, however, couples will often understandably want to get Christmas out of the way before taking any further steps – perhaps for the sake of any children of the marriage, or simply because it is such a busy time of year. Many may also simply be worried about the costs involved in getting divorced.
First and foremost, it is important to keep the lines of communication open with your spouse, especially where children are involved. This is more likely to lead to resolving issues with as little conflict as possible. It is also important to understand your legal rights and options at the outset as well as the out-of-court options that are available. Research by Resolution has shown that early legal advice can help to reduce later stress and mental health issues.
One of the out-of-court options is the collaborative law process. This is a process whereby the parties take part in a series of respectful and constructive meetings and it can help the parties to reach agreement on decisions relating to pressing matters such as paying the bills and looking after the children; and also with the broader financial settlement that will need to be put in place on divorce. The costs of the collaborative law process are likely to be far lower than the costs of court proceedings.
It is very important to us to understand our clients’ concerns, priorities and expectations so that we are then able to effectively advise them on their options and the route we feel is most appropriate to their situation. Whether ultimately matters can be resolved through the collaborative law process, or through mediation, or whether ultimately court proceedings unfortunately become necessary; we are here to explain and support you through the process.
Before meeting with a solicitor, it is beneficial to us to gather information including:
- details of the income and earnings of you and your spouse;
- a full list of your outgoings and any expected changes to them;
- details of savings and debts;
- details of any valuable assets, such as vehicles, jewellery etc;
- any likely anticipated changes in the circumstances for you or your spouse; and
- any information as to pension entitlements.
Bringing a marriage to an end can seem like a daunting prospect and certainly it is not something that anyone wants to have to go through. We understand and are sensitive to the emotional distress of the divorce process and are here to support you and ensure you understand your legal options.
Carline is a member of Resolution and also a trained collaborative lawyer. Karol is a barrister with specialised expertise in arrangements for children so you can rest assured our excellent team has the knowledge and expertise to guide you through this difficult time in your life.