This week is Resolution’s ‘Good Divorce Week’, raising awareness of good divorce practice. This year saw 150 family lawyers visiting Parliament to discuss the importance of introducing a No Fault Divorce.
In support of the initiative, Donna Hart, Director at The Family Law Company has teamed up with Sarah Ashworth-Pile of coaching company, SA:SI Strategic Intervention to set out some tips for a good divorce.
- Wherever possible try and seek professional help. Many law firms including The Family Law Company offer a free half hour consultation appointment where you can discuss any concerns that you may have. Having independent initial legal advice can help you and provide you with options that may be available to you.
- Relationship counselling isn’t just there to help couples restore their marriage. Pre-Divorce Counselling is very useful when a relationship is over. It can help you restore lines of communication, manage emotional trauma, and set the foundations for a healthier separation.
- Try to understand each other’s situation and each other’s point of view. Quite often it may be one person who finally ends a relationship and that can mean that the other person is playing catch up and may need further time to adjust to these new circumstances.
- Seek first to understand and then to be understood. Quite often we are keen to push across our own points of view and our own emotions rather than looking at where the other person is coming from. Endeavour at all times to do what is right, not to ‘be right.’
- Always try and view the situation as it is, not worse than it is.
- Focus on the positive rather than the negative. Negative often attracts more negative thoughts and actions, which can be quite unhelpful during the separation process. Remember, at one time you both loved each other – treating each other with civility and dignity will help you navigate the difficulties that can arise during this very challenging time.
- Try and communicate effectively. This is where a professional may be able to assist you. Lawyers are there to assist you in communicating with your partner to ensure a constructive separation agreement – rather than a destructive one. Relationship counsellors can help you to communicate your feelings and emotions in a constructive way, without resentment, blame, anger and bitterness, all of which ultimately hurts yourself, your children and other members of your families.
- Think about the language you use when emailing or texting your former partner. Try to refrain from using inflammatory language. Think about how the message may be read. Would it be better to speak face to face if this is safe? When responding to a message always respond to the message in the way that you would have liked it to have been written.
- It takes two people to make a relationship work and two people to break a relationship. It is very important that each party sees his or her own contributions to the problems in order to have the best possible outcome for all concerned. Unfortunately, the divorce system in England and Wales means that quite often unless parties have been separated for over two years one must allege the fault of the other to enable a divorce. The Resolution are campaigning for this to change under #abetterway
- Try and look at the bigger picture. Quite often a separation or divorce does not just include the two of you – it may also involve children and other extended family and friends. It is not always helpful to discuss details with friends or relatives and especially the children, as they may feel they have to take sides.
- If children are involved, you will have to communicate with each other for many years to come. For their sake, remember the children love you both. Don’t disparage or criticise their mother/father in front of them as this can set them up for a life of unhappiness and conflict.Even though you have separated it is important to listen to each other and understand where the other one may be coming from.
Remember, you always have a choice on how you can act and react, think carefully before doing so.
A Good Divorce will enable you to end the relationship with integrity and dignity, and look forward to a much happier future.
If you need to discuss your own situation, call 01392 421777 to talk to a family lawyer at The Family Law Company.
If you wish to speak to a relationship counsellor, call Sarah Ashworth-Pile on 07896 220368 or 01626 249048 www.sasiuk.com