November 26, 2020
Good Divorce Week is an annual initiative organised by Resolution which seeks to promote practical and constructive ways their members can help separating couples to put the needs of their children first. It is a chance for people who usually have little to no access to professional advice to seek it out and make the best-informed decisions for their family. This year the campaign focuses on the Resolution Code of Practice and aims to demonstrate the benefits of early legal advice.
Resolution is a community of family justice professionals who are committed to working with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive way and achieve positive outcomes. For anyone experiencing separation or divorce, this can be extremely difficult as conflict and confrontation may seem inevitable. However, this does not have to be the case. All Resolution members have signed up to a Code of Practice, which promotes managing and reducing conflict and confrontation between separating couples whilst prioritising the interests of the children.
Resolution is also dedicated to campaign for law reform. Most recently, they were the driving force behind the implementation of the “no-fault divorce” which will spare separating couples having to apportion blame for the breakdown of their marriage. It is hoped that this will be in use in 2021.
Getting advice early will help you know what to expect in terms of what options are available so you can plan for the process accordingly. The main choices for couples getting a divorce, dissolving a civil partnership or separating are:
- Reaching an agreement between yourselves:
This is often done with the help of a lawyer in the background who will put the agreement into effect.
You and your partner appoint an independent and impartial mediator and meet with the mediator together. Once there is an agreement in principle, this will be drawn up into a Memorandum of Understanding and incorporated into a legally binding document filed with the court for approval.
- Collaborative practice:
You and your partner each appoint a collaborative practitioner and all issues are addressed in face to face meetings. Where an agreement is reached, this will be documented and filed with the court for approval. If negotiations break down, a new lawyer must be instructed if there are to be court proceedings. This gives everybody an incentive to stick with the process and make it work.
You and your partner appoint an arbitrator who will make a decision that will be final and binding between the parties, on any financial and property disputes or some child-related issues arising from family relationships.
- Lawyer negotiation:
You appoint a family lawyer who focuses on your interests and who negotiates with your partner’s solicitor. Many cases reach a satisfactory conclusion without going to court when resolved using lawyer negotiation.
- Going to court
If an agreement cannot be reached, an application can be sent to the court. The court will then issue a formal timetable of next steps. If the court process reaches what is called the final hearing, the court has broad discretion to reach a final decision and make a Court Order, based on what the judge thinks is fair.
Wallace Robinson & Morgan Limited are based in Solihull & Dorridge and serve clients across Birmingham and the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and further afield. Our team of Family Lawyers are all Resolution members and are happy to help if you would like advice about divorce, dissolving your civil partnership or separation.
Resolution has asked its members to commit to providing 30 minutes of free legal advice to those who need it during the Good Divorce Week, which runs between 30 November and 4 December this year. At Wallace Robinson & Morgan, we applaud this approach and our Assistant Solicitor, Kirsty Roberts, will be offering this service to clients who call during this week to make an appointment and quote “Resolution20”.
To book your free consultation, please call 0121 705 7571 and ask to speak to Kirsty Roberts or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute technical, financial, legal advice or any other type of professional advice and is no substitute for specific advice based on your individual circumstances. We do not accept responsibility or liability for any actions taken based on the information in this article. For more information, please click here.