Marking Collaborative Family Law Week 2018, Berwins’ top rated family law team is exploring what journeying through the separation process can mean for separating couples.
Our collaborative couple have now had their introductory meeting. Participation Agreements are signed, Anchor Statements have been shared. We’ve talked through the basics of a Parenting Plan and Mum and Dad have said this will be useful to them as a review and a reminder regarding arrangements for the children.
We’ve had financial disclosure – i.e. pulled together all the financial information relating to the marriage e.g. property, pensions, investments, income.
Now what? Maybe everyone is holding off saying what they want. Maybe everyone wants the same thing – and we can’t both stay in the house, have the children on a Wednesday evening. This is going to come unstuck. This is going to be one of those nightmare divorces I have read about. My best friend was maybe right….
Stop. It doesn’t have to. You signed up to the Collaborative process precisely to avoid unnecessary conflict and to find solutions and it’s important not to be afraid to embrace this, tough though it can be at times.
To get through any divorce it requires I think two things:
- Determination – divorce is up there with the top most stressful things you can do. Just marginally less stressful than the death of a loved one and a modicum more than moving house or serious illness. Actually, divorce is very like grieving. There are stages and some days you take one step forwards, two steps back. So don’t underestimate what you are going through and the effect on you.
- Belief – that you can get from where you are now to a place you want to be. There is light at the end of that tunnel. It might currently seem like a very distant glimmer. Go at your own pace and arm yourself with the right people to help you on the way.
You will get there. Honest.
Be brave. Be ready to say what matters to you. Don’t be afraid to look at options.
Sarah Smith is a leading family lawyer and mediator. She is the only solicitor ranked as an “Eminent Practitioner” in industry guide Chambers and Partners and has been supporting separating couples for over 20 years.