Clients ask many questions when they meet to discuss their separation or divorce with us. Whilst every case is different, we do highlight some things they need to think about. Here are our top ten recommendations.
- Many clients tell us that their decision to separate has not come as a surprise to their spouse or partner or to their family and friends. It can be a challenge to end a long-term relationship. Talking openly to your spouse or partner as well as your family and friends might help make the process less stressful.
- Life changes can be stressful and emotionally draining. Think about seeking support from a counsellor or family therapist. They have experience of supporting couples who are going through a separation and divorce. We have a number of contacts and other resources that might be of help to you.
- It is very important to know where you stand legally if you are only in the early stages of thinking about bringing your relationship to an end. An initial consultation with a specialist family law solicitor can prove invaluable.
- You need to think about what you would like your future to look like. For instance, you need to think about whether would you like to stay in the family home or whether you would prefer to move out and set up home elsewhere. Your thoughts and view about what you would like to happen can help to shape the decisions you make in the legal process.
- Separation does not necessarily have to involve an adversarial process. We will discuss the range of options available when it comes to resolving the issues that need to be addressed. These include conventional negotiation, collaborative practice, mediation and arbitration, as well as court proceedings.
- Gather as much information about your financial position as you can. It is not unusual to discover long forgotten policies or information relating to an occupational pension from a previous employer. The more groundwork you do before you contact us, we will be able to generate more options for you to consider going forward.
- Prepare your budget. You need to know how much money you will need after your relationship ends and how much may be available to support a second household.
- When dealing with pensions, there are many more options now than ever before. Where there is insufficient capital to meet a settlement or if one spouse has very little pension provision, pension sharing might be a useful option. There are also other pension options we can discuss with you.
- It also pays to obtain advice from a financial advisor, especially where pensions are involved. There can be situations where expert input will add value to your case. We can liaise with your financial advisor to make sure that solutions are tailored to your particular needs. As with counsellors, some financial advisors have particular expertise in working with couples who are separating.
- It pays to take advice from an experienced, knowledgeable family law solicitor. By instructing our specialist family team you will access wider knowledge and experience than you would by instructing a non-specialist solicitor.
You must take detailed advice on your particular circumstances. If you need our help or would like to talk through your options, please call us on 01698 373365 or click here to email us.