Looking for a local divorce Solicitor?
We can offer you a healthier divorce process for a happier future
Here at Wallace, Robinson and Morgan, we genuinely understand that the decision to separate is one of the hardest you will ever have to face. It’s the polar-opposite to the path you had planned and the emotions it provokes will vary, not only according to the reason for which the separation has come about, but also from person to person, day by day and hour by hour.
Whether the decision has been reached mutually and amicably or there is bad feeling between you and your ex-partner, initial thoughts often focus on the financial assets and ensuring you get as much as possible from your divorce.
BUT stop and think for a moment...
Do you really want to create unnecessary stress and anguish for yourself, not to mention the impact on any children you have and the wider family? If you have children, you’ll both want to be part of their important life events – graduations, weddings and birthday celebrations, preferably without the animosity and tension that can be brought about by divorce proceedings. Try and think rationally when considering your divorce and ascertain what a successful outcome might really look like for you in the long term.
Being mindful of your actions now will make life easier for everyone in the future.
The traditional divorce process almost encourages people to maximise personal gain, fuelling those negative feelings that are natural bi-products of the initial separation.
Luckily, there is another way…one that is fair for both parties, one that is dignified and enables you to avoid involving a judge where you inevitably lose control of the situation, and one that minimises the impact of divorce on you and your loved ones, both during the divorce process, and for the years to come. This alternative to the traditional divorce process is known as Collaborative Law.
As with mediation, Collaborative Law is based on principled negotiations. However, unlike mediation, where both parties meet with one neutral mediator who can’t offer legal advice, Collaborative Law involves each party instructing their own collaboratively trained lawyer who is present in each session and able to offer advice when required. The other advantage to the collaborative law process is the fact that the lawyers who will draft and agree a final version of the court papers for you have been part of the agreement process, thus fully understanding how you arrived there. This reduces the chance of delays at this stage that might result from misunderstanding.
How is Wallace, Robinson & Morgan different from other divorce lawyers?
The divorce service available to our clients is really rather unique. Our team are all trained in both traditional and collaborative family law, this is not the case in most law firms. Having our whole team equipped with both skill sets enables us to offer the choice of two routes:
1. The traditional divorce process
2. The Collaborative Law divorce process
Kathryn and Dipika are two of relatively few lawyers trained in both traditional and collaborative law. They are friendly and approachable professionals who have more than 20 years-experience and a great deal of empathy for your situation, giving you the best opportunity of achieving a divorce with an outcome that feels successful for you.
What is Collaborative Law?
Collaborative Law is a new approach to the resolution of family issues such as divorce, financial agreements and child contact arrangements. A settlement is reached in a non-confrontational manner and without the need for court involvement, based upon co-operation between parties and the assistance of collaboratively trained lawyers in face-to-face meetings.
At your first face to face meeting, your collaborative lawyers will make sure that you both understand that you are making a commitment to working out an agreement without going to court. You will all sign an agreement to this effect.
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What are the benefits of Collaborative Law for both parties in a divorce situation?
By removing the wall built by individual legal proceedings and establishing a face to face consultation process, Collaborative Law allows partners at the end of their relationship to communicate with each other actively and constructively, enabling a more amicable and often more considered result. The main benefactors of this approach are always the children, seeing their parents go their separate ways with dignity and respect will undoubtedly help them to accept and accommodate the fundamental and unexpected changes to their lives that divorce thrusts upon them.
The open and transparent dialogue between parents that is promoted by the collaborative process can also prevent the use of children as “bargaining tools”. 68% of parents in regular divorce cases admit to using their children for leverage, something we’re certain you’ll agree must be avoided.
Other benefits to the Collaborative Law divorce process:
More dignified than the traditional divorce process
Control is maintained (control is lost once judges are involved in the traditional divorce process)
Ensures a fair outcome for both parties
No imposed Court timetable allows parties the freedom to work matters out at their own pace, and the space to decide on the best compromise available.
Gives the best chance of maintaining an amicable relationship
Potentially cheaper because the process is usually shorter and courts costs avoided. In fact, 90% of these cases are resolved without seeking further legal advancements
Minimises negative emotional impact on the couple, their children (if applicable) and the wider family
A Collaborative Law divorce process will prevent you from ending up in a position where you’re regretting a financially successful divorce because you’ve found yourself shouldering the guilt of having left your ex-partner financially unstable or your children with the emotional scars of the trauma of feeling stuck in the middle. Collaborative Law offers the opportunity for a divorce that enables you and your family to move on positively, and one which you can feel proud that you handled well and in the best interests of all involved.
”The Collaborative process was ideal for us and I feel should be the starting point for most people regardless of how they are feeling about each other….every divorce requires discussion, negotiation, understanding and compromise. It is much better to be able to do this with the support of experts together in a room than entirely by email and letter in an adversarial process.” (Family Law client, May 2017)
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Is Collaborative Law legally binding?
Yes, absolutely. If you take a collaborative route, whilst you don’t go through the painful court proceedings, the consent order is signed by the courts, and at that point becomes legally binding.
If you’d like to know more about Collaborative Law for divorce then simply download our free guide and see just how beneficial taking a dignified, controlled and fair approach to divorce can be for everyone involved.
Traditional or Collaborative Divorce - what factors can influence the route you choose?
The route that operates in the best interests of your children
Your desire to be in control of decisions concerning your family’s future
Your financial affairs and their level of complexity
The personality of your ex-partner
The reason for your divorce
Believing you will need support to secure an outcome that is fair
Your desire to minimise the length of the process
The need for a route that will give closure and minimise negative emotional impact
Taking the first step
As we can offer both divorce routes, our friendly solicitors Kathryn and Dipika will help you make the decision that is right for you. And if you’re concerned about taking that first step, then the information below will reassure you.
Are you Worried or Nervous about contacting a solicitor because it makes it all real?
It’s natural to be nervous and worried about taking the first step, after all it’s a life-changing decision. However, not taking any action is resigning yourself to continuing in a situation that is making you unhappy.
Do you feel overwhelmed with too much to think about?
During your initial meeting with us, we’ll talk through each of your concerns and explain the process clearly, so that you can go away from our initial meeting feeling calm with a clear head.
My partner is not aware that I am thinking of divorcing them
It’s only an initial discussion at this stage. No action is taken from the first meeting and our conversations are completely confidential – if you decide NOT to go ahead with divorce proceedings then you will receive no further communication from us.
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What to do next?
Why not make an appointment to talk to one of our friendly family law solicitors – Kathryn or Dipika – and they’ll listen and understand your situation in order to provide the right advice for you?
Simply call us on 0121 705 7571 to book an appointment or complete the form above (rest assured your privacy is safe with us) and we will contact you to arrange a convenient time to discuss your requirements.
Kathryn Ferris LLB (Hons)
Head of Family Department
Kathryn is a trained Collaborative Lawyer and passionately believes that the use of this process means clients avoid acrimony giving themselves the best chance of achieving an amicable resolution. She is an active member of Resolution and the Collaborative Family Law Group West Midlands.
Kathryn is experienced in all aspects of financial disputes but has particular expertise working with mid to high net worth clients who are separating after a long marriage. These cases often involve more complex legal issues such as how pensions can be retained or used flexibly to realise capital, business interests and identification of matrimonial and non-matrimonial assets.
She also advises on matters concerning children including arrangements following separation, applications to relocate and applications by grandparents and step-parents. Should it prove necessary to involve the court then she takes a robust approach to ensure clients achieve the best possible outcome.
Kathryn qualified as a solicitor in 2000 specialising exclusively in Family Law for the last 17 years. She is now Head of the firm’s Family Department. The most rewarding aspect of her role is helping clients move on to the new phase of their life with confidence and security.
As a working mother she has plenty to fill her time away from the office, but particularly enjoys tennis, cycling, travelling and singing in the BID Solihull Pop Chorus Choir.
Dipika Mistry LLB (Hons)
Dipika provides clear advice from the outset. Her financial cases involve substantial financial assets, property division, investments, protecting pension interests and businesses. She is particularly adept in issues of domestic abuse, complex children cases involving high conflict, disputed allegations, psychological issues and removal from the jurisdiction.
Dipika is a determined advocate for her clients, and sensitive to their particular needs, prioritising their objectives, firmly believing in taking a proactive and robust approach to achieve their desired outcome.
Dipika is a member of Resolution and sits on its Training and Learning Committee. As a trained Collaborative Lawyer, Dipika is able to offer this valuable option to deal with matrimonial disputes in a conciliatory and constructive manner to minimise her clients’ emotional anxieties in this challenging area of law.
Dipika has practised family law exclusively for over 20 years, including running her own practice, and has a wealth of experience in relationship breakdown and divorce.
Dipika thrives on leading a busy life, balancing her career with devoting her leisure time to her family, her love of good fiction and creativity.
Download our guide to Collaborative Law
See just how beneficial taking a dignified, controlled and fair approach to divorce can be for everyone involved.
“WRM have advised me over the last 20 years regarding a whole range of matters – divorce, moving house and partnership law. I have always been delighted with their advice and service.”
“I would certainly recommend WRM to anyone needing family law representation. The advice and support I was given throughout was very good and gave me a clear and realistic understanding of the likely outcomes. “
“Kathryn and her team were very professional and definitely help me to achieve a fair outcome from the final court appearance.”
“My dealings with Kathryn throughout the case were nothing short of exemplary. Polite, courteous and very professional from the start. I would highly recommend Kathryn and WRM solicitors.”
“I found the whole process of my divorce really stressful but Dipika Mistry helped me through it until the end. I had good advice to get me where I needed. I couldn’t have managed without her help.”
“Very happy with the service I received and would recommend to anyone, indeed I already have. Dipika, I can’t thank you enough you’ve guided me through a very difficult time."
"I went to Dipika for help, I really did not understand anything about divorce and how I should take things forward, it was clear my marriage had broken down irretrievably. Dipika and her team were professional and gave me clear, frank advice.”
“It is an extremely stressful and frustrating time, but having the WRM team supporting me, sorting out all the logistics, and working to get things moving was crucial."
“I think it would have been extremely difficult to have done this myself and I am extremely grateful."
Wallace, Robinson and Morgan handled my divorce which has just been finalised. I am so appreciative of all the work that WRM has done for me. Divorce is very hard, and your calm, knowledgeable and thoughtful approach was exactly what I needed. What impressed me most, was the time given to me to allow me to make decisions which I found very hard. I was expertly advised, but never pushed or hurried. The non- confrontational approach of Wallace Robinson & Morgan suited me, and I can thoroughly recommend them in family matters.