Individual divorce solutions for individual people

There is a cliche of families separating over Christmas and of New Year’s Resolutions that you will finally leave the partner who is driving you wild (not in a good way). The papers love to trot out the statistics and some matrimonial surveys are timed in order to maximise the marketing opportunities of ‘D Day’, the day on which divorce practitioners are most likely to receive a telephone call from a new client.

An individual shouldn’t feel like a statistic. Their personal circumstances are individual to them. Whatever has happened in their lives bringing them to the door of a professional is their own personal story, not another casualty of Christmas.

This is an important message which is fundemantal to the way Access Collaborative Lawyers members work. We are a group of professionals who want to understand the needs of the person in front of us. Having taken the time to understand them, we will tailor an action plan which will make things manageable in the short term and solve the issues in the long term. We do not have a set way of handling a problem and are able to draw on the wide variety of skills available among our group members.

If you would like to be in touch with a member of Access Collaborative Law, please don’t be afraid. We pledge not to mention statistics or the January blues!


Keep it out of Court

If you believe that you need to go to court to be divorced, you are in good company. A recent survey by Resolution, the family law group, discovered that around half of those surveyed (a group of 4,000 British adults) would use the court if they were to get divorced.

For all the negative press, this is progress. Half the adult population are aware that you don’t have to go to court and that there are alternative ways of resolving family disputes. That’s half the population who may be able to resolve their disputes amicably, quickly and in a dignified fashion. Hopefully the other 50% won’t have a dispute to resolve.

The courts are extremely short of time and simply cannot take into account the intricacies of family life. It is not the forum to use if you wish to end a relationship and part feeling good about yourself. It is also extremely expensive.

Resolution’s campaign, keep it out of court, is well timed. On Friday 22 November 2013 judgement was released on Young v Young.  Mr Justice Moore opened his judgement with a furious criticism of the level of fees spent – £6.4m by the wife. While those of us at the coal face of family law don’t tend to see fees at this level, we do come across cases where too much family money is committed to a process which is upsetting everyone involved.

We’d like to see more people talking about their options before taking action. If you read this, please raise the possibility of mediation, collaborative law or arbitration with your divorce professionals and seek to get fully educated before taking action.

Resolution’s findings are as follows:

- 51% say they would consider trying a non-court-based solution instead of going court if they were to divorce in the future.

- 23% of British adults believe that non-court based methods of divorce and separation “make the terms of the separation clear to both parties”.

- 24%think that non-court based methods of divorce “protect the rights of both parties”.

- 52% of British adults say they think that non-court based methods of divorce and separation “are better for the wellbeing of couples”.

- 50% of British adults say that “non-court based methods of divorce and separation are better for the wellbeing of children”.