Low-conflict divorces – keeping it civil

March 16, 2018
Children law Family law

Figures released last year by the Office for National Statistics have shown that while divorces of opposite-sex couples increased 5.8% in 2016 compared with 2015, actual divorce rates in 2016 were over 20% lower than the peak in divorce rates in 2003 and 2004.

Divorce is stressful enough when it’s just the two of you involved,” says Helen Shaw, an experienced family and children law solicitor at Tallents Solicitors in Mansfield, “emotions will run high and can often lead to strong words and actions. However, when children are included, it’s better to try and find a low-conflict way of reaching a mutually agreeable solution.

Helen Shaw is a family lawyer working at Tallents Solicitors in Mansfield explaining the grounds for divorce

Helen Shaw

Helen is a member of Resolution and as such, she is committed to taking a constructive and non-confrontational approach when it comes to family matters, to achieve the best outcome for her clients and their families.

She continues:

In the heat of the moment, it can be all too easy to become locked in conflict with your spouse, completely forgetting that you will both still be raising your children for many years to come.

As much as a speedy legal separation from your spouse may be your driving goal, I urge my clients to remember that you will still have to agree an effective co-parenting arrangement with the other parent that will both ensure the well-being of the child and limit the damage caused by the divorce.

Helen says:

Although it may seem odd to say, divorce can still be a good time to remember that you once loved and respected the person you married, and if you can focus on that memory, then a low-conflict divorce is easily achievable with the least damage done to everyone.

If you’ve decided to divorce, then there are several ways to go about this:

  • For the divorce itself, you can complete the forms yourself without the help of a solicitor, although for peace of mind to ensure the process runs smoothly, it may be better to get advice from a solicitor
  • To resolve issues regarding finances it is always worth getting specialist advice. You can appoint lawyers to handle everything for you. A good solicitor will explain that as well as negotiating through solicitors there are a number of different ways of resolving issues concerning the family finances, and in relation to your children, which include:
    • Collaborative law. Specially trained collaborative lawyers represent each of you and you discuss matters openly together with the assistance of your lawyer. If negotiations break down you will have to appoint a different lawyer
    • Arbitration. A qualified arbitrator is appointed jointly by both parties and acts as a judge to make a decision about your case. You are legally bound by the decision in the same way as a court order. The arbitration process is a bespoke service more closely tailored to your needs than the court
  • If you can’t agree, then going to court is the final option. However, you will have to prove that you have attended a mediation meeting, known as a MIAM, or that you are exempt. The judge will then make the decisions regarding your financial settlement, or arrangements for the children if these are in issue.

Helen finishes:

As a Resolution family lawyer, I can help minimise conflict during the divorce process and help sort out issues regarding your home, finances and your children in a non-confrontational and lo-conflict way that will consider the needs of you all. Just give me a call on 01623 666700 to set up an appointment.

Helen also attends the weekly free family law clinic held every Tuesday evening from 5pm at Tallents Solicitors on 2 Westgate in Southwell. Initial meetings do not require an appointment.

Arbitration collaborative law constructive and non-confrontational approach divorce lawyer divorce solicitor financial settlement low-conflict divorces Resolution
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