“The Good Divorce No. 9”
“The GOOD DIVORCE – 9”
Divorce is sometimes unavoidable. Sometimes it will be devastating for one or both of the parties involved, but sometimes it is liberating. In almost every case there will be very much emotion, stress and cost involved. Even in amicable separations it is possible for the divorce process to sour relations and create conflict, rather than resolve conflict.
The question often posed is whether there is such a thing as “a good divorce?” William Giles is a specialist family law Solicitor of 25 years’ experience. He recognises that the process of divorce can be expensive, emotional and stressful. It can be distressing and destabilising for both parents and children.
In this series of articles William provides advice and assistance as to ways to minimise conflict, promote solutions rather than focus on process and ways to minimise conflict.
Call us now for an initial discussion as to how you can reduce the conflict, stress and cost of divorce and seek to achieve a good divorce.
The divorce system in England and Wales is an adversarial one. The parties effectively compete with each other to obtain the best possible result they can. This can be seen to encourage parties to make allegations against the other which are exaggerated and sometimes even untrue, in order to achieve the best possible result.
Further, some parties will be keen not to provide information to the other and to the Court which they feel will have an adverse impact on their case.
In order to achieve a good divorce honesty, transparency and integrity are crucial. For example, in financial issues there is a duty to provide full and frank disclosure of your financial means and anything relevant to those financial means. It is crucial that this duty is complied with in order to achieve a fair result.
If there is not transparency and honesty in full and frank disclosure, a Judge might make an adverse inference against the party who has failed to disclose properly, which could mean that party receiving less than they would be entitled to.
Failing to provide full and frank disclosure also increases mis-trust and therefore increases conflict. It means cases are likely to be more expensive and there are risks of Costs Orders.
In children cases a lack of transparency and honesty and an exaggeration of allegations will of course lead to greater conflict between the parties in the long term.
In mediation it is particularly important there is transparency, honesty and full and frank disclosure. Without this the process will break down very quickly. That is not to say that the parties are not at liberty to pick and choose what information they consider to be relevant.
It is therefore important to think about the consequences of how you conduct yourself and your matter. It is also perhaps important to think of the other person’s feelings. If you make exaggerated allegations against them, or indeed any allegations, how will they feel and what is their response likely to be? Will this lead to greater conflict and greater stress and cost? In certain circumstances there is no option other than to make allegations and these will need to be resolved either in discussions or through the Courts. It is important to note, however, that any actions you take will impact on the other person and there may well be consequences in terms of long term communication, cost and emotional issues that arise.
In order therefore to achieve a divorce think carefully about what you are saying about the other party, about how they will feel and always be transparent and honest in your dealings, including providing full and frank information in financial proceedings.
William Giles is a Family Law Solicitor, Mediator and Collaborative Practitioner with Woollcombe Yonge Solicitors. If you are contemplating divorce, or going through a divorce process and wish to have an initial free discussion with Will, please telephone on (01752) 827912.
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