September is often seen as a busy time for Family Lawyers, as couples consider whether to separate after the summer holidays and, if they decide to do so, how best to approach their separation. Before any action is taken, it may be helpful to ask what value specialist Family Lawyers can add to the process of divorce, for couples taking that first step.
From the outset, good communication is key to handling a divorce in as amicable, swift and cost-effective a way as possible. Family Lawyers should help their clients to focus on the best outcome in their case, bearing in mind the welfare of any children that those clients may have. Once their divorce is finalised and legal representatives are no longer involved, it can help a couple considerably to have maintained their ability to communicate courteously and constructively.
Having discussed and, hopefully, agreed the contents of a Divorce Petition, it is normally necessary to review the parties’ finances by considering what they both have and need. Whilst it may be possible to have such discussions face-to-face without the intervention of a third party, some couples find it helpful to involve either a Mediator, Collaborative Lawyer or Arbitrator in their negotiations. Each of these specialists in Dispute Resolution offers a different skill to help separating couples reach agreement, and it is worth consulting a Family Lawyer at the outset if it appears that such specialist skills may be of assistance.
Even once a financial agreement has been reached, implementing that agreement can be a lengthy and challenging process. For example, the family home may need to be sold and both parties, having agreed on the division of net sale proceeds, will then need to re-house themselves, and any children involved, all of which can take time.
Family Lawyers usually suggest that it is worth having a Court Order in place to protect both parties before they go ahead and implement their financial agreement. Such Court Orders are normally prepared by the parties’ lawyers. Communication between the parties may improve considerably once they have been relieved of the burden of reaching a financial settlement.
In short, the early involvement of a specialist Family Lawyer can help each party to understand how the law relates to them, and how they can best navigate the technical requirements of divorce and related financial matters.