New research carried out by Slater and Gordon Lawyers shows that more than a third of divorces are acrimonious, while more than 40% of divorcees went after more than they were entitled to.
Sadly, these findings do not surprise me; many people try to play dirty when going through a divorce. As a Divorce Solicitor, I have experienced cases of reports to employers, social media campaigns, the hiring of private detectives, lies, anonymous hate mail and attempting to hide assets, to name but a few.
So, is it really possible to have an amicable divorce? The answer is yes!
If you are spoiling for a fight your divorce is likely to take a long time and cost a lot of money. Consider my 3 top divorce tips:
Forewarned is Forearmed: Get legal advice from a Family Law expert. Once you are armed with the information, you then know what you can and cannot do. Knowing where you stand will relieve some of the stress of what already is a very difficult situation.
Don’t Let Your Heart Rule Your Head: Keep calm. Try to separate emotion; however difficult. Emotions cloud judgement. Your divorce will be resolved faster and at less cost if you stick to the facts and aim towards a resolution rather than trying to apportion blame.
Avoid Advice from Family & Friends: Whilst they are great as a shoulder to cry on and are trying to help, the experiences of your brother-in-law who divorced 5 years ago will not be the same as yours. Every divorce case is different and no two divorce situations are 100% identical.
Slater and Gordon's divorce research marks exactly a month since the introduction of the new Family Law Reform. It's now a requirement that before a divorce application to the Court is made, a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) has to be attended. Whilst there are exemptions, these are limited. Mediation is a good way to resolve legal disputes without the hefty legal fees and it's hoped that the reform will see the high numbers of messy divorces decrease.
Mediation won’t be suit every divorce case but it should be at least considered. Where Mediation is not suitable, you can still reach an amicable settlement with the assistance of a Divorce Solicitor without having to head to the Court room. Court should be seen as a last resort.
No-one wins in a long drawn out, costly and acrimonious divorce and more often than not, children become collateral damage. Family Law is about a fair division; not winners or losers. Think twice before you try to play dirty!
The are many potential pitfalls for people getting a divorce, so Slater and Gordon have published a practical guide book in plain language which clearly outlines the law, what to expect, and when; see Family Law Made Simple.
The guide is aimed at helping people adhere to these tips, giving them practical guidance on how best to approach a divorce to minimise cost and stress.
Georgina Chase is an Divorce Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.
For a free initial consultation call the Family & Divorce Solicitors at Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we will call you.
Slater and Gordon have over 1,200 staff in 18 offices located in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire where you can meet with a Divorce Solicitor.