Yes, says Resolution, a family law association of which the solicitors at Townsend’s are members.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that 42 percent of all marriages in the UK end in divorce. The number of older couples divorcing has reached an all-time high.
However the length of time couples are staying together is on the increase. Currently a marriage lasts about twelve years on average.
So what’s a “good divorce”? It’s a situation where a separating couple make a joint decision not to fight over a settlement or the children but rather reach an agreement about their finances and child arrangements in a constructive and non-confrontational way. It’s about discussion rather than disagreement – compromise rather than a fixed expectation.
Can it work? It is reported that couples who settle by agreement leave the divorce process in a much better place in terms of their relationship with each other as well as acceptance of the settlement than if they had fought it out in court.
How does it work? There are a range of options. Talking to each other and being honest about what is important to you both leaving a marriage is the cheapest settlement out there. It doesn’t involve mediators or lawyers in the legal wrangling. If talking doesn’t work or stops working, try mediation which involves both of you meeting with one mediator to work through the issues to help you arrive at a settlement that you are both happy with. If that doesn’t work, experienced solicitors are there to help you who are committed to settling your case without wasting precious time or money. Solicitors can apply their experience of other cases to advise you about the likely outcome if you ended up in court. At Townsend’s our aim is to keep your case out of court because we know how expensive that can be. Our job is to manage your expectations and to give you honest and frank advice about your approach to a financial settlement and resolving arrangements for your children. We can then enter into negotiations on your behalf.
The aim of a good divorce is to reduce the damage to families and their finances. However, for a good divorce to work, a couple needs to embrace the principle and commit to the process. If emotions are still running high, this will impact on how much can be achieved. If you are still feeling raw after the breakup of a relationship, you might benefit from some counselling or other therapeutic support before you open up discussions.
Technology can be a helpful tool for couples to distance themselves from conflict. Use a joint online calendar for parenting, for example, to help you plan when the children and with you and your former partner. A calendar which is visual can also help the children keep up with arrangements as they settle into a new routine.
Divorce is rarely “good”. It can be painful and daunting but a commitment to working together will go a long one to ensure that you leave the process in a much better place than when you entered it.
At Townsend Family Law we offer a no obligation one hour fixed fee consultation at half our hourly rate. Should you require assistance please telephone us on 01992 892214.