6th Oct 2016

Maintaining a dignified approach to divorce

Rated as “a top collaborative lawyer”, Stephen Rootexplores why maintaining dignity in a separation or divorce case has far reaching implications.

Separation and divorce are times of high emotion. Those involved in the breakdown of a relationship are hurting badly and when people are hurt they tend to react rashly rather than stop and think.

Naturally, at the end of a relationship people tend to focus on themselves and what they are going through and it is easy to forget and overlook the wider situation or even any children that are caught in the middle through no fault of their own. Also, they are suffering and struggling, with words like anger, retribution and revenge all too often thrown around during the trauma of a relationship ending.

But, ask yourself this – when you look back at this time of your life how do you want to remember it? How are you going to explain it to your friends, family or children? Do you want to be trying to justify to them how badly you and your former partner behaved, or do you want to be able to tell them that you maintained your dignity and that you and your former partner behaved sensibly like adults and worked hard to resolve your differences?

when you look back at this difficult time of your life how do you want to remember it?

At an emotive time, just how do you maintain dignity? It can be very difficult and some anger is usually justified and very understandable. There is however a process that tries to let people maintain their dignity but still have a say in their future – collaborative law.

If you get involved in a contentious court battle you are inevitably drawn into conflict

If you get involved in a Court battle you are inevitably drawn into conflict – that is unavoidable and simply the nature of the beast. In collaborative law however you and your partner will each have a lawyer present who will both be working together to keep you committed to finding a solution. They will ensure that you remain focused and on track to resolve the problems that have arisen and finding a way forward that you can both live with.

In a collaborative case both parties work together to reach a workable solution

It is important for your self-esteem and your ability to move forward with your life that you can look yourself in the mirror and know that you have done the right thing during what will be one of the most difficult times in your life. Your children may never actually say thank you but based on the scores of cases I’ve been involved with, it’s clear that they will be grateful and pleased that their parents behaved as mature adults.

Otherwise they may be faced with the scenario, which some of their friends will know only too well, where their parents find it so difficult to talk to each other that they have to be kept apart. Family events such as weddings and christenings then become things that everyone dreads rather than looks forward to.

Separation and divorce will never be easy but my advice is to try and draw a deep breath and think before speaking and saying things you might later regret. Remember those caught in the middle and how much harder (and more expensive) it will be for everyone caught up in the turmoil of relationship breakdown if it becomes a battle – not least yourself.

Keep it dignified and go collaborative!


To discuss the collaborative process or to arrange a free, no obligation consultation, contact Stephen Root at Berwins Solicitors.

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