Friendly, quality advice can dispel confusion and anxiety relating to divorce in the constantly evolving field of family law. Here, Beverley McCluskey and Eluned Roberts share their initial guidance for those who may be thinking about a divorce.
Divorce procedure is essentially a paper exercise, which is why some people now opt for a‘DIY-divorce’. This is not ideal for everyone though.
A marriage break-down can be extremely stressful and emotional, and navigating the divorceprocedure and paperwork can be daunting. Unnecessary delays, cost and animosity can be caused by misjudged or incorrect drafting. The Court tries to regularly update forms to make them more user-friendly. The Statement of Arrangements form has recently been abolished. Nevertheless, the paperwork can be onerous and confusing.Beverley is an associate solicitor and head of family law at Hague Lambert in Knutsford. She has 20 years experience in family law and is a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer.
There are a number of misconceptions in divorce law. For example, believing that you can get a divorce based on ‘irreconcilable differences’; you cannot. This concept is often confused with ‘unreasonable behaviour’, which is one of the five facts you can rely on to demonstrate that the relationship has irretrievably broken down.
Seeking specialist legal advice at a fixed price can give clarity and reassurance on the law and procedure and remove the burden of dealing with it by yourself.
Worried about finances?
What often scares people about divorce is the prospect of living independently. Acrimony can arise from arguments over money.
A common misconception about the legal profession is that fat-cat lawyers will encourage a long drawn-out court battle that will cost a fortune.
The reality is that there are many more options available than just going to Court. In April 2014 the law changed and it is now compulsory to attempt mediation before you can take a matrimonial finance case to Court.
Having a neutral mediator, or a qualified collaborative solicitor sitting alongside can often help couples resolve their dispute. It encourages open communication whilst empowering you through having a neutral party present or receiving legal advice. This can be more cost-effective than protracted exchanges of solicitors’ letters or court proceedings.
A constructive approach to negotiations can avoid unnecessary hostility. Beverley and Eluned are active members of Resolution, a family law organisation that promotes resolving disputes in a non-confrontational way. This approach gives the best service, both emotionally and financially.
Beverley specialises in complex matrimonial finance cases, including those involving pensions,self-employment issues, family businesses, second homes, inheritance and pre-nuptial agreements. These aspects can unfortunately make a divorce settlement more complicated. Expert advice can give clarity on your unique circumstances.
Having a dispute about arrangements for your children?
Separation can affect children emotionally and practically when deciding how they spend their time with each parent. This often cause animosity in divorce proceedings.
In April of this year, a dramatic change took place in children law. ‘Access’ was dealt with in Court through Residence and Contact Orders; these are now known collectively as Child Arrangement Orders.
The idea behind this change is to encourage parents to formulate bespoke child-focussedarrangements for their children, preferably through negotiations away from the Court arena. The focus is no longer on which parent should have ‘residence’. It is now compulsory formediation to be attempted before an application can be made to Court.Eluned is a specialist family law solicitor who has recently joined the firm’s Macclesfield and Knutsford offices.
Eluned is experienced in dealing with complex children matters. Her sympathetic andapproachable manner, combined with her constructive approach, helps resolve disputes and prioritise children’s best interests.
To arrange an initial, no-obligation, free half-hour appointment with Beverley or Eluned contact Hague Lambert Solicitors. Visit www.hague-lambert.co.uk
Beverley – email@example.com
Eluned – firstname.lastname@example.org
Knutsford office – T: 01565 652 411
Macclesfield office – T: 01625 616 480