Top tips to achieve a good divorce

Family breakdown can be traumatic but conflict is not inevitable. Jane Cowley Family Law specialist and Partner at Geldards LLP provides her top tips on how to achieve a good divorce.

Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics show an average of one in 3 marriages end in divorce in England and Wales, with most marriages experiencing their difficulties as they approach their seventh year.  Divorce may be a fact of life, but how do you achieve a good divorce?  Here are our top tips:

  1. Rapport

Carefully select your family lawyer. Make sure they speak your language and there is a  genuine and strong rapport.  It is essential that you connect with a lawyer who   will speak with you at this early stage to understand your concerns, fears and anxieties and talk you through the process. Your lawyer will be working with you during good times and bad .

They need to be compassionate and firm .Whilst always listening to you they need to tell you what you need to hear which may not always be the same as what you want to hear.

  1. Communication

Try to maintain respectful  communication with your ex-partner however challenging this may be.   Avoid social media.   Avoid oversharing.   This is especially important when you are parents, as your parenting responsibilities will continue post divorce.  Children will often model their behaviour on the action of their parents.   Conflict is a fact of life.  However there is no better model for managing conflict, than parents who are able to work together in a collaborative manner  when dealing with their relationship breakdown.

  1. Transparency

There should be no surprises.   Inevitably a relationship breakdown results in a lack of trust.   In order to resolve issues there needs to be a shared commitment to work to rebuild that trust.   Financial matters cannot be resolved without an ongoing process of documented full and frank disclosure.   Only when there is clarity as to the extent of financial assets and liabilities, can any steps be taken to consider settlement proposals.

  1. The ’10 year rule’

The decisions you take during divorce proceedings, must meet the test of time.   It is always difficult to attempt to future proof matters. Lawyers are not clairvoyants.  However a good divorce will be one that, many years hence, will result in both parties, and their children, reflecting back and understanding they did the best they could in the circumstances and the decisions they made have indeed stood the test of time.

For more information contact Jane Cowley.

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