Top ten tips for dealing with family separation
There are various stages people go through during a family dispute and when clients arrange to see us, they could be at any of the various stages.
It is therefore worth taking note of the following points, which should assist in ensuring the process can prgress as smoohtly as possible.
For anything further, one of our specialists would be delighted to meet you to talk through your options and answer any questions. Please contact us at any time.
1. Be Prepared
Work out what youy and your partner’s income is and what your financial needs are, together with those of any children.
Prepare a list of your assets, a schedule of your debts and obtain valuations of any pensions that you and your spouse have.
2. Listen to your Lawyer
If you are paying for good advice – listen.
Take it on board even if you do not accept it.
Your lawyer is under a duty to advise you but will then represent you in accordance with your wishes (within reason).
You must feel that your lawyer is on your side.
Don’t take legal advice from friends – everyone’s divorce is completely different.
3. Negotiate and Compromise
You will save yourself stress and costs by coming to an agreement with your other half.
Avoid becoming ‘entrenched’ in your position – keep an open mind.
4. Keep an eye on the Costs
Don’t spend hundreds of pounds arguing over minor items.
Ask for monthly statements of costs from your lawyer so you can budget as you go along.
The family team at Sintons can offer regular updates on costs, to help you manage your outgoings.
There are alternative options for funding which can be discussed.
5. Use the Experts
Use mediation for children issues, counsellors and therapists if you need it to cope with your divorce, and a good divorce lawyer for financial issues.
Don’t act for yourself – even experienced divorce lawyers hire other divorce lawyers to represent them.
6. Be Realistic
Very often the best that can be done in divorce and financial settlements is to limit financial damage.
Two households cannot exist at the same level of financial comfort as one unless you are wealthy to start with.
The cloth must be cut according to your means.
7. The Children
Don’t discuss the details of the divorce with your children.
Don’t question them about the activities of your ex or use them to pass on messages.
Above all don’t ask them to choose between you.
Don’t pay maintenance late but do ensure that if you have agreed contact you stick to the arrangements.
Ask yourself how your children will remember their parents’ divorce.
Will they admire the way you’ve conducted it or will they be scarred for life?
8. Helping Yourself
Be very careful indeed about investigating for yourself the financial dealings of your spouse.
There may be criminal penalties if you attempt to read their messages or hack into their computer.
Even if your spouse leaves financial documents lying around, the divorce legal rules are very strict as to what you can do about that.
You must take legal advice before taking any action which may incriminate you.
9. Be Patient
It takes a little while to be extricated from a marriage or a long relationship.
If you have been married for 30 years, it is unrealistic to expect that you will be divorced within two or three months.
It may take you or your spouse a long time to accept the breakdown of the marriage or relationship especially if there are children involved.
10. Divorce with Dignity
Above all, keep a cool head and, tempting though it may be, do not cause any damage to the property of your spouse or their new partner, or send abusive messages.
Your actions may come back to haunt you.