With the start of a new decade, for many it is a time to reflect on their life and changes they want to make for the future.
For some, these reflections will lead them to conclude they have reached the end of their relationship.
The media coverage of ‘divorce day’ at the start of January is full of drama and hype every year, but it is true that separations affect many families.
The latest information from the Office of National Statistics show that 42% of marriages end in divorce, with half of these taking place within the first 10 years.
This does not include the separation rates for those aged over 16, who are living with a partner, that have never married, which now accounts for 10% of our population.
“On a separation our clients’ needs are more than just legal”
With over 50 years’ legal experience within our team, we understand that on a separation our clients’ needs are more than just legal.
In particular, divorce and separation have a day-to-day emotional impact on them. This can make the process and practical steps more difficult.
The widespread traditional model where historically only legal advice is provided by lawyers is too narrow and needs to change. It is important that no one feels they have to deal with the emotional burden on their own and that clients are fully supported through the separation process both legally and emotionally.
As part of our unique client centred approach, we work with other advisers, and this includes helping our clients to arrange separation counselling sessions as part of our commitment to support them through what may be a difficult time.
This means that our clients have support every step of the way, not just the legal guidance, but also the emotional support.
These counsellors are able to provide the support and tools needed to help clients get through the emotional impact of divorce and separation. This in turn makes the legal process and steps we need to discuss with clients easier to focus on.
During Autumn 2019 we expanded our support to include providing a free initial consultation for new clients with one of our recommended separation counsellors. Due to its success we are pleased to be extending it until the end of February 2020 so that even more clients can benefit from it.
“More than just divorce”
As family lawyers we deal with more than just divorce itself. During any separation, we specialise in guiding you through all of the areas that need to be resolved for your family, including financial settlements and arrangements for children. Every family is different and it is important for you to receive the advice you need to get your life back on track.
We also help during relationships by trying to prevent problems later with early legal advice. We are very experienced in dealing with wealth preservation by the preparation of agreements for cohabiting couples and pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. These types of agreement are becoming much more popular as the case law shows them increasingly being followed in any future separation. Many argue that having this type of document in place supports a relationship and helps to prevent separation by removing sources of potential future conflict.
In addition to this we help clients with a whole range of further family law advice, including taking a child abroad, surrogacy law, fertility law and donor conception, school appeals and child maintenance and appeals.
The days of fully litigated court proceedings regardless of the circumstances are rightly coming to an end. We will always consider alternative dispute resolution options and the use of mediation, collaborative law, lawyer led negotiation or arbitration to resolve difficulties without court proceedings. These options can reduce exposure to costs. If you do need to go to court, we will ensure you have an excellent team on your side.
If you or someone you know would appreciate more information about any of the above, please contact a member of the family team.