Jane Young, Associate Solicitor at FDR Law discusses Divorce when children are involved
Q: My wife and I are getting divorced, what’s the best approach to make it easier for our children?
A: Divorce is exceptionally stressful for all concerned, especially when children are involved, and with emotions running high, sorting out child arrangements can seem overwhelming.
The Child Arrangements Order focuses on both parents continuing to have important involvement in the child’s life, as long as it is safe for them to do so. It sets out who the child is to live with and how much time they will spend with the other parent, and when and coming up with an agreement everyone is happy with.
If this proves difficult, lawyers can work as a bridge encouraging a constructive dialogue in reaching the best solution for all.
If that doesn’t lead to a satisfactory arrangement, the next step is mediation. This is a mandatory stage before a court can become involved; it’s impartial, confidential and takes place in the presence of a trained mediator whose role is to lessen conflict and to try to resolve the matter amicably. The outcome isn’t legally binding so some parallel legal advice would be required, however if you can reach an agreement during mediation it should remove the need for lengthy costly and often stressful litigation.
Mediation can be used as the precursor to an application to the court. However, mediation should not be underestimated as it can work in many cases involving children. If it does not work, then an application to the court is the last resort. It should always be regarded as the last resort, unless there is welfare or safeguarding issues, as it can be costly and can also cause unnecessary upset for the parties to litigate.
There are many out-of-court options and a specialist lawyer will assist and advise on the best process for you and your family.
For legal advice concerning Divorce contact us on 01925 23000