Top three tips for those going through a divorce or separation
Recently Neves was selected by The Law Society to be filmed as part of an expert focus initiative. The videos will shortly be available via The Law Society website. The interviews focused on why it was important for the public to use a solicitor and the kind of issues we would typically advise on. Beth Woodward in our Family Department was one of the solicitors interviewed and was asked to give her top three tips for those going through a divorce or separation. In a sneak preview she reveals those top tips.
- Be gentle on yourself and seek help. A divorce or relationship breakdown is one of the most stressful things you will ever experience. Allow yourself to rely on friends and family for support and get legal advice. You will be worrying about how to protect the children, whether you will have to move house, how much money you will have to live on…. Getting answers to these questions will put your mind at rest and stop your ex taking advantage. Most family lawyers offer a fixed fee initial meeting which will enable you to know your options and where you stand legally.
- Understand your children’s needs on divorce. Children are resilient and research shows that they can cope with their parents separating. What they cannot cope with is being exposed to conflict or being forced to choose between their parents. They need a good relationship with both of you. Try hard to separate out your feelings of anger and betrayal from your children’s need to have a good relationship with your ex. Speak to your solicitor about arrangements for the children. Your family solicitor can help you agree arrangements or refer you to professionals such as mediators.
- Find the right process for you. Everyone’s sense of what is a fair and reasonable financial arrangement is different. You will be mindful of your own contributions, hardships and be influenced by how you feel about the end of the relationship. You may not want to compromise your sense of what is fair so speak to your solicitor about the best way to resolve your differences. She/he will ask you about the background to your divorce or separation, your priorities, your personality and your ex’s and can talk through the options. Mediation, Collaborative Law, arbitration, negotiations via solicitors, face to face round table meetings or an application to Court are all options and it is vital to find the process that is right for you.
We hope to bring you exciting news soon that our short films have been uploaded to The Law Society website – watch this space.