Divorce – can we be friends?

Mention the word Divorce to anyone and it sends shudders. Immediately what springs to mind are images of a couple shouting at one another and children placed squarely in the middle. Nobody wants an acrimonious divorce, and whilst we will always protect your position, it does not need to be this way. While it’s normal to feel a whole range of emotions during the various stages of divorce, it is still possible to come out the other side on good terms with each other and an agreed settlement.

We at Thursfields will always be receptive to the idea of you both talking. We recognise this may not always be easy and emotions may still be too raw, especially if you feel you are the wronged party. Relate and other counselling services provide advice and support to enable you to come to terms with what may be the single most challenging time of your life and using a mediation service will help and encourage both of you to talk in a respectful and constructive way and help you reach an agreement in principle perhaps even before speaking to us.

You can hold a round the table meeting at any stage of the divorce process and this can be arranged between respective solicitors (unfortunately no matter how on good terms you both are we can only act for one party). The terms, or a Separation Agreement, can then be drawn up which will form the basis of an order, by consent, once the decree of divorce is made. By far the majority of financial matters conclude with a consent order no matter how unpleasant the process might feel to begin with.

It may surprise, but children do not form part of the divorce process (rights and remedies are contained in the Children Act 1989) and no orders will be made as to whom they are to live. We will help and encourage you to reach child arrangements as to what time each of you are to spend with your children, sharing the care and co-parenting them. We can assist by having such an agreement set out in a document which could include how much the other party is to contribute by way of child maintenance.

Divorce ends a marriage but it need not end the relationship and, ultimately, the friendship each of you could have for the future.

For further advice please contact Pauline O’Rourke, Senior Associate Solicitor on 0121 796 4025 or email porourke@thursfields.co.uk

Thursfields’ expert Family Law Solicitors are available at any of our offices and surrounding areas – Birmingham, Worcester, Kidderminster, Solihull, and Halesowen.

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