Important factors to consider when going through a divorce
Head of Family, Gavin Henshaw, discusses about important points to consider when you are going through divorce:
The divorce process is far from pleasant experience to go through. When an individual is faced with dealing with a divorce, they will be making important decisions about their life and the future from a highly emotional position.
Whilst these decisions may seem to be a good idea in the heat of the moment (primarily if they are motivated due to one party wanting to ‘get back’ in some way at the other to make themselves feel better), when dealing with a family breakdown the impact of these often have wide reaching effects.
Although every family matter is unique, from experience, there are some common themes that do reappear and mistakes that are made on a regular basis. By highlighting these, I hope that, if you or someone you know, finds themselves in the unfortunate situation of dealing with a divorce, then this article will ensure you avoid falling into the same traps.
Choosing a Solicitor
The choosing of a solicitor can have a monumental impact on how your overall case is dealt with.
If you are feeling wronged, a natural reaction would be to try and instruct the most aggressive family solicitor you can find so that they can ‘punish’ the other party. However, this is not a good tactic. Family law is actively trying to move away using the Court due to the time taken and the costs involved. Therefore, by instructing an aggressive solicitor, it increases the chance of your matter heading towards Court due to every issue being argued over in the smallest detail and no common ground being established.
That is not to say that you should instruct a solicitor that is not going to support and represent you forcibly, but there is a difference between being forthright and needlessly aggressive. There are now a number of more cost effective ways of resolving a case as opposed to going to Court and, when looking at a solicitor, you should see what additional qualifications and family law accreditations they have.
A solicitor with additional family qualifications will demonstrate someone who is experienced and will argue your case for you but in a non-confrontational and productive manner.
Another factor to consider is that of cost. Choosing the cheapest solicitor is often not the best course of action as cost is primarily linked with experience. Given that you are going to have to trust and rely heavily on the person you instruct throughout the divorce, their experience will be invaluable and it is worth bearing this in mind when deciding who to instruct.
Introducing the children to a new partner
During the divorce, I am not suggesting you should become a monk until matters have been concluded. It is natural that you will want to move on with your life and enter into a new relationship at some point in the future. It is also natural that, if you have children, you will want them to meet your new partner as well.
However, just ask yourself how and when is the best time for this to happen?
It may be the case that your new relationship begins shortly after the breakdown of your marriage or, is the cause of the breakdown of the marriage. In these circumstances, whilst you will probably have come to terms with the marriage ending, your spouse may not have and the introduction of a new partner is only going to increase difficulties between you.
By introducing a new partner into the mix too early or in an insensitive way, it will create difficulties between you and your spouse and, in turn, this may lead to unnecessary arguments occurring over arrangements for the children or financial matters, which will only delay matters further.
Also, if not handled properly, the introduction of your new partner to your children may be confusing and upsetting for them and this should be avoided at all costs.
Therefore, if you are enter into a new relationship, just remember there is plenty of time after the divorce has been finalised for you to organise your new family arrangements and this does not have to happen immediately.
Taking advice from third parties
It is understandable that you may want to speak to friends and family about your divorce and, by all means, you should seek their support at this difficult time.
However, you should be wary about getting into a situation where you are being provided with advice from well-meaning acquaintances with such advise being based on their divorce experience, or the divorce experiences of someone they know.
What you need to remember that every divorce is unique and individual to the people involved. Therefore, it is possible that the advice your solicitor is providing to you will conflict with the advice provided by your friends and family, but there will be a very good reason for this.
As this situation is likely to cause you further confusion, if your discussions with your friends and family do raise important questions you want answered, feel free to address these with your solicitor who will be able to provide you with specific advice on these issues.
However, you really should take note of the advice you are given from your solicitor, otherwise there is no real point in you paying for them to act for you in the first place.
Not communicating with your spouse
Although it may be difficult for a number of reasons to remain civil and discuss matters with your spouse, if you can achieve this, it will be worthwhile for you
For one, if you have children, even once the divorce is concluded, you will still be Mum and Dad and if you can remain civil to each other, you will be able to discuss and reach agreements about the children and this will benefit all concerned.
Also, if you can continue to communicate and discuss matters with your spouse during the divorce, you stand a better chance of resolving some of the issues informally, thereby saving you legal costs.
Every divorce is unique and your case may not involve any of the issues I have highlighted above. However, if it does, hopefully this article will serve as a reminder to you to consider your options fully before making a decision that could lead to difficulties that are still present long after the divorce proceedings have concluded.