When you decide to separate, choosing the right process for you and your family is the most important first step. Each situation will be different, and there are a number of different options to suit varying circumstances.
But before you seek help from a solicitor, ask yourself a few fundamental questions about what you need and what kind of outcome you’re looking for:
What are the most important issues you need to discuss?
What are your priorities? Dividing up assets or sorting out living arrangements or dealing with children’s issues? Are there any provisional agreements you can make before you seek legal help to streamline the process? Which issues are non-negotiable and which are you prepared to compromise on?
How complicated are your finances?
Getting all your paperwork in order before you see your solicitor is a good first step to working out your options. Gather together as much information on your assets and liabilities as possible and be open and frank with your solicitor about your financial situation. If you own property, businesses, or anticipate complications when it comes to dividing up your assets, the earlier you discuss this with both your ex and your solicitor the better.
What’s best for your family?
If you have children, ensuring their wellbeing should be the focus of your separation negotiations. Which approach will cause the least disruption to your lives? Are you able to sit down and cooperate amicably with your ex via mediation or collaborative family law? Do you have concerns about your own or your children’s safety? Seek the advice of your solicitor to help you to figure out the best possible outcome for your family and be sure to make use of the many support organisations for separating and single parents.
How much help do you need to resolve your disputes?
It may be that you’re able to negotiate the majority of issues between yourselves, or you may find productive discussion with your ex impossible and require intervention from an impartial third party. If you feel comfortable with a cooperative approach, mediation, arbitration or collaborative family law are all effective out-of-court options that also allow you greater control over the process. But if you foresee a complex and antagonistic separation process, rely on the expertise of your solicitor to help you prepare for taking your case to court.
When you feel ready to speak to a solicitor, get in touch with us at Frances Lindsay & Co to discuss your situation with one of our friendly, experienced family lawyers who will work with you to find the right course of action for your unique circumstances. We offer fixed-fee legal services for mediation, divorce, arbitration, and collaborative family law across the whole of the Thames Valley. Let us take the weight off your shoulders.Tags: arbitration, children's issues, collaborative family law, divorce, divorce advice, divorce solicitor, mediation