We need to be blunt. As experienced lawyers we can tell you that the court experience in family disputes is awful. By choosing to go down the court route you are both relinquishing control of the outcome and committing yourself to serious expense. In our view it is an option to be avoided if at all possible.
We have to be able to offer alternative approaches. And we do.
From the outset of your case we will encourage an approach where “going to court” is seen as the last resort. As likely as not either you or your spouse/partner, or perhaps both of you, will be in a heightened state of emotion and be experiencing feelings of shock, disbelief, grief or depression. Against this backdrop, it is often difficult to think clearly and logically, and negative responses, such as anger and revenge, rise to the surface.
We hope to develop a professional relationship with you to support you through this difficult time and to help you to adopt a positive and non-confrontational approach, hard though that may be. Not least it’s so important to protect the children from the parental dispute. Compromises have to be made by both of you. Let’s focus on solving problems, and not creating them. Surprisingly there is a lot we can find agreement on really easily, so let’s narrow down the remaining issues and work through them methodically. Let’s not talk about winners and losers, but about need and fairness.
So what do we do?
In writing to your spouse/partner or his/her solicitor, we set this tone right from the start.
If it suits, we will propose innovative approaches. Perhaps a round table meeting to try and resolve a particular problem? How about the creation of a comprehensive parenting plan to agree the future arrangements for the children?
Maybe mediation would be the best approach? If so, we can make the referral to an experienced family mediator while remaining in the background to provide you with ongoing legal advice.
If we are dealing with the financial issues that arise on the breakdown of a relationship, then we would suggest to your spouse/partner’s solicitor that we agree at the outset a process where financial details are exchanged followed by constructive negotiations between solicitors, without the intent to make an application to court.
So this is our approach to family law. Constructive, conciliatory, and solution focused. At this difficult time in your life, this will translate to less trauma and less expense – and certainly a happier end to the process. If this is your approach too, then we are confident we can work together to achieve the best possible result.
Court proceedings are a last resort, but rest assured that if that is the only option then we will provide you with first class representation and do the very best to achieve the right outcome for you.