Audrey Venables is a family law partner at Forshaws Davies Ridgway, member of Resolution and qualified Family Mediator.
Dealing with Separation
Q: The stress of Christmas has been the final straw for our marriage. We want to separate but where do we stand on dividing our assets and caring for the children?
Going through separation and divorce can be a painful and stressful time but from experience, those who deal with it best are the couples who manage to keep relations as friendly as possible, particularly where children are involved.
There are a number of useful websites which can explain the basics, including a new advice guide from Resolution which can be downloaded free at www.resolution.org.uk/separatingtogether .
However, if you need expert advice about your specific circumstances or are ready to move towards a formal divorce, specialist family solicitors can help you sort out your affairs.
Deciding who gets what and who looks after any children can often result in major arguments. You may be able to make all the important decisions amicably between the two of you but if you think you need professional help in reaching a fair settlement, Family Mediation is well worth considering. It’s usually a much cheaper option than battling out disagreements in court and allows you to remain in control.
What is family mediation?
Family mediation is not about getting you back together again but a less confrontational way of deciding your future. It allows you and your partner to explain your concerns in the presence of a family mediator who helps you both to reach an agreement.
It’s not right for everyone, particularly where abuse or violence has been involved, but from April, Courts will be looking for evidence that you have at least explored mediation before bringing disputes to the courtroom.
For a free initial phone consultation about separation or divorce issues or any other family-related matter, please get in touch at 01925 230000