January 22, 2024
Traditionally, January can be a very busy month when it comes to divorce and separation. In fact, the first Monday of January is often referred to as ‘Divorce Day’, with swathes of couples seeking a fresh start to the new year.
But will that be the case again in 2024? Recent statistics from Legal and General suggest that the current economic climate and ongoing cost of living crisis are delaying as many as 272,000 couples from completing a divorce. Further, 19% of recent divorces (since 2020) have been delayed due to financial reasons.
Understandably, given its portrayal in the media, divorce can tend to conjure up images of costly litigation and drawn-out court battles, with both sides ‘lawyering up’ to make sure that they are able to secure the outcome they are looking for.
The reality is much different, with plenty of options being available to couples who are looking to keep time, costs and disruption to a minimum.
We discuss some of these options in this article, covering the various approaches our solicitors take with our clients when divorce or separation proceedings are on the table.
While we hope this article will be helpful, it should not be taken as legal advice. If you need any further support, our divorce solicitors will be happy to support you further.
What options are available to separating couples?
With several members of our team being members of Resolution – an organisation committed to taking a non-confrontational approach to family law – we place a strong focus on making matters as straightforward as possible.
Removing confrontation from a divorce can have the knock-on effect of keeping costs to a minimum which, given the current situation in the UK, could help to remove a major stumbling block for many couples.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods our team can help couples with include:
Mediation is a common form of dispute resolution, where you and your former partner meet with one another, alongside a neutral third party – a mediator. The mediator’s role is to help you reach an agreement surrounding the details of your divorce or separation (such as dividing your finances and making arrangements for children), facilitating the conversation to make sure that it is productive and ensures both sides are able to express their side of the matter. The mediator will not take sides, nor will they provide any specific legal advice.
Mediation is a particularly important method of ADR as, if court proceedings are required in the future, it will usually need to be shown that you and your former partner have attempted mediation beforehand. This will involve demonstrating that you have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).
The collaborative law process acts as an alternative to court proceedings for handling the various issues that stem from divorce. During collaborative law, both partners instruct their own legal representatives who are specially trained, with all parties then meeting together to work things out during round-the-table meetings.
Collaborative law is governed by a collaborative agreement. This commits everyone to reaching an agreement without a specific deadline and without the threat of court intervention. This agreement also prevents the legal representatives, from representing their clients in future court proceedings, committing all parties to making the process a success.
Constructive negotiation is a more straightforward process and can be suitable for couples that are seeking to reach an agreement in a less formal atmosphere. Both parties work through any issues they may have, exploring the options that are available to them and negotiating these during as many meetings as required.
Fixed fee divorce
We offer a number of our family law services on a fixed fee basis, including fixed fee divorce and fixed fee civil partnership dissolution. This ensures that our clients have a clear idea on what costs will be involved in their case, providing them with the opportunity to make an informed decision on whether to move forward.
We always aim for complete transparency with our family law fees, so will make sure you are clear exactly what is covered by the price we quote, including where there are any court fees and other expenses that must be considered.
Get in touch with our divorce solicitors
Looking for legal advice and support with divorce in Gloucester, Cheltenham, the Forest of Dean or anywhere in Gloucestershire?
Categorised in: Divorce
This post was written by Tayntons