There can be few things in life which cause more upset and anxiety than relationship breakdown. This is especially so where children are involved.
Money worries often compound the problems. The sense of loss and helplessness often leads to feelings of grief or even despair.
The QualitySolicitors Group has carried out a survey which highlights the needs of separating couples and their children and seeks to pinpoint ways of meeting them.
Key survey findings for the South East include:
• Three quarters (77%) divorcees in the South East are worried about the general direction their life is taking
• Two thirds (65%) of divorcees in the South East will have to fundamentally re-assess their financial arrangements from mortgages through to insurances and pension
• Three quarters (76%) of divorcing parents in the South East have real concerns about how their divorce will affect their children’s emotional wellbeing or their relationship with them.
• A third (34%) of divorcing parents fear a loss of access to their children
• Women fear running the finances (43% women, 30% men), juggling childcare and learning new tasks like DIY (34% of women, 12% of men)
The QualitySolicitors Group and locally QS Howlett Clarke set out to adopt a friendly and compassionate approach in the hope that the issues can be resolved by discussion and agreement without ending up in court.
Increasingly, couples see the need to avoid confrontation and alternatives to going to court to resolve the issues arising from separation. Lawyers need to respond to that need and help their clients through the trauma of separation.
This could involve a referral to counselling or family law mediation. Increasingly, couples are thinking “outside the box” and ask to engage in cooperative discussions in the so-called Collaborative Law Process.
This process involves four-way meetings involving the couple and their lawyers, where the specific aim is to reach a settlement which works for them both and their children and deals with the financial side of this fairly.
Even if the Collaborative approach is not for you we can still deal with the issues that you have and be there to guide you through the process of a relationship breakdown. So, to avoid slipping into a prolonged period of despair and uncertainty, my advice is always to seek legal advice early on.