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Family Law Isn’t Just About Divorce

The term “family law” actually covers a very large area, though the word “divorce” is the one we normally think of first when the subject comes up. It is certainly true that divorce is a common aspect, though practitioners of family law have many more strings to their bow. Divorce after all, is not always the most appropriate solution to a problem in the marriage and it is pretty final. Before getting to the divorce stage, it is worth exploring other options, with counselling generally being suggested as the first thing to try. Counselling does not always save the marriage, though even if it doesn’t, it will at least show each party exactly what it was that has caused the situation. When counselling fails, the next suggested step is the trial separation, which may be the stepping stone to divorce, or may bring about a realisation that life simply isn’t the same without your partner being there. If there are children involved, it gives both parties a chance to set out who lives where, with whom and how often everyone gets to see everyone else, along of course, with the financial side of the relationship.

Before Anything Gets To Court

Much fewer cases are seen in the courts recently, quite possibly because of state cutbacks, especially in the area of legal aid, which is now rarely available in divorce cases, unless one side has shown violence towards the other. Mediation is encouraged by the courts, though the jury is still out on if this is actually beneficial or not. While it is preferable to get an agreement in place between the two parties voluntarily, mediation will only work if both parties actively work towards a solution, which is difficult once one side or another adopts an entrenched position, which they regularly do.

Collaborative Family Law

It is in the best interests of the family for things not to have to go to court, which is an expensive and time consuming process, and both parties will generally be able to have more influence on the final decision if settled privately. To this end, legal professionals practicing family law in Nottingham and nationwide are trying a collaborative approach. This involves both parties and both sets of lawyers sitting down together to try to thrash out a mutually agreeable settlement of each party’s claims. A newer version again, termed “collaborative lite” allows the lawyers to do more of the negotiating themselves, but doesn’t have the downside of the two parties having to find new lawyers if the process breaks down.

Financial Agreements and Children

These are two of the issues that can be toughest to agree upon. With both it is generally better that a mutually acceptable agreement is reached, as any court order may not be to either party’s satisfaction. It is important, especially where finances are concerned that both parties are entirely open and honest, as any agreement can be brought back to court if it is found one side has failed to disclose assets. These areas greatly benefit from experienced family law firms’ experience and represent the smart way to reach agreements amicably and economically.

 

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