The much heralded “Freedom Day” arrives today, Monday 19th July 2021. With lives edging closer to some semblance of normality, this is a significant milestone for many, but what does it mean for those enduring relationship issues? Senior Family Lawyer, William Kaye, takes a look at the situation.
Taking control after lockdown
The periods of lockdown and national restrictions we have experienced over the past 17 months have created real issues for those seeking to leave broken relationships.
On a practical level, the simple movement of people, including children, has been fraught with difficulty. In particular, new housing options – be that in the owned or rented sector – have been extremely limited if not non-existent. This created a situation in which couples have found it very hard to separate, even if they wanted to.
With the opening up of society, most of those formal constraints will fall away and couples who have come to the end of their relationship can take control of what happens next.
Refocusing on a new future
Lockdowns and associated pandemic pressures have also created domestic stresses of their own. Those stresses – and the break from pre-pandemic routines – have given many cause to reflect and reassess their circumstances.
This future-focused approach has been widely reported in the jobs and housing markets – we are told that recruiters and estate agents have never been busier – but reassessments also extend to personal relationships.
It is anticipated that some will now call time on their relationships with the freedom to move on and create a new future for themselves and those they care for.
Managing difficult circumstances
Not all couples, however, are in the same place. For many, pandemic restrictions have proved enormously difficult to cope with. Indeed, it is perhaps only now on reflection, that we realise how hard they have been and the impact they have had upon us in so many ways.
This may well inhibit the sheer courage and emotional energy required to leave a relationship – often not an easy step. Having left one dark place there may be little appetite to move straight into another challenging environment. In these circumstances, special care is needed.
One of the greatest fears I often confront in this situation centres around the image of acrimonious court battles so often portrayed in the media, but things very often do not have to be that way. Staying out of court is a very achievable goal and, by encouraging separating couples and their professional advisors to work together constructively, separation does not have to be shrouded in acrimony.
Taking the right path
Contrary to common perception, many divorces - with the right professional advice and assistance - are managed sensitively, taking a constructive and problem-solving approach, placing the interests of the children first.
A Collaborative Family Law process will achieve just that – no court, no solicitors’ letters; just a series of ‘round the table’ meetings with the couple and their collaboratively-trained lawyers present. Sensible, constructive discussions with the focus on how the couple see their future as a separated family, not what lawyers and courts determine should happen.
It’s common sense really. Why make a very difficult situation even harder, particularly having endured the past 18 months? Berwins’ specialist family law team is dedicated to sensitive dispute resolution options and has three highly experienced and well-regarded specialist Collaborative Family Lawyers.
If this resonates with you, please give us call on 01423 543 108 and we will be very happy to have an initial no obligation chat with you.