Q. What happens if a divorcing couple goes to Court over financial matters?
Although we try to avoid going to Court as far as possible, if it becomes necessary, the process can still be amicable. Court should not be considered a hostile environment – it is there to set a very clear timetable for both spouses to work through.
Q. What are the key things to consider when deciding the best route to divorce?
The first consideration should always be what is in the best interest of any children. You also need to consider the level of cooperation between yourself and your spouse. Will he or she fully disclose their financial circumstances, or be dishonest and try to hide assets?
During a divorce, I find people generally behave as they have done in the marriage. If they were unreasonable and secretive before, then they probably will be this way during the divorce, too. Having said that, The Family Law Company does not spend time chasing pointless disagreements that will run up large costs and cause difficulties in the future.
Q. The cost of divorce worries me. How can this be kept down?
If you remain on good terms, you can negotiate your own agreement with your spouse. However, you will still need legal advice to check the terms of it are fair to each party, and ensure that it is written up into a Court Order so that it is binding upon you both. We are aware that cost can be one of the biggest concerns of getting a divorce so we offer a range of fixed fees to cover legal advice. Legal Aid is still available in some situations.
Q. What can be done to make the process as painless as possible for the children?
It is important to tell the children together so they see you are united in your approach. Think about the questions your children might ask. Decide which questions you may not be able to answer and how to explain this. Allow the children to express their feelings, whether through tears, anger, pleading, promises of good behaviour, fear or denial. Do not intervene, tell the children you understand, you know it hurts, and you will try to help them so it hurts less. Give them details of any future arrangements if you have agreed those. Most importantly, reassure children that you will both go on being their parents and that you will always love them. Make sure they know that it is not their fault.