‘When my solicitor first suggested to me that my wife and I could sit around a table and resolve all of our issues without the need to go to Court, although I liked the idea, frankly I thought she was mad. We hadn’t co-operated well since the breakdown of our marriage over anything – children, money, assets. However I liked the idea that we would be setting the agenda and agreeing between us what was important and what wasn’t and that we would try to resolve all matters without ever going to Court. I liked the idea that I would be able to maintain a civil relationship with my wife and I agreed with my solicitor that this would make matters easier for the children and for both of us moving forward if we could just get over the difficult issues of dealing with the breakdown of our marriage now.
I acknowledge that I was quite emotional over a number of issues and that my wife was as well. However in truth when we sat round the table we were all on our best behaviour because we were sitting with two solicitors. It was unnerving to some extent but the solicitors seemed to be working for both of us – nobody was on anybody’s side and everybody seemed to be trying to find a sensible and practical way forward which was best for the whole family and not just for myself or my wife.
It was difficult and sometimes I had to back down over some issues but I had to acknowledge that it was the same for my wife and that she also had to back down over some issues. With help and quidance we managed to find a way through.
This may not be everybody’s way of dealing with the breakdown of their marriage but so far as my wife and I are concerned we are still on speaking terms and we very much hope we have minimised the impact on our kids – they only ever see their parents being polite to each other and we have made a point of agreeing within the collaborative process that we would only ever be positive about each other. This is not always easy!’
If you think this is the way you might be able to deal with a divorce then talk to somebody – there are many solicitors out there who want to deal with matters in a different way to the Court system and who want to help couples find a sensible way forward.
By working together you can ensure that your voice is heard, your feelings are understood and your wishes taken into account in building your future.
For more information on how the collaborative process works please go towww.collaborativefamilylawyers.co.uk or contact your local branch of Wards to speak to one of our collaboratively trained solicitors.