I like to think I help people rebuild their lives after divorce or separation. As someone so delightfully put it I do ‘Misery Management’. Many of my clients think I have a magic wand. I don’t. But I can give people the tools to change their lives when the Happy Ever After goes pear shaped. But first of all we are going to deal with a few fairy stories.
My personal favourite: The Common Law Wife
If you divorce after 20 years and 4 children, you can have property orders, lump sum, orders, maintenance orders, pension orders
If you separate after 20 years and 4 children, you get what? Nothing!
It’s still a shocker and can be sorted. Communicate and get your house in order (literally)
We’re Divorced So She (or He) Can’t Come Back for Any Money
No! If the Court hasn’t made an Order those claims stay alive potentially FOREVER
You don’t need to go to Court but you do need a Consent Order
So if you win the lottery, you might find someone wants a second bite of the cherry. Or if you agree that one person keeps the house and the other goes bankrupt, the trustee in bankruptcy is going for half that house, agreement or no!
The Woman Always Gets the Kids
Well no. The times they are a changing. The top brass are now saying shared residence orders are the norm. That doesn’t mean equal time but it does mean equal care. Our changing society is now communicating with our legal system.
If I Get Divorced, We Split Everything 50:50
Not always. A whole host of factors come into play including needs, contributions and, of course, children. A long marriage is now considered 15 plus years. Then 50:50 becomes our yardstick. Communicate with family lawyers not people down the pub about your financial settlement
Lawyers Mean Court Mean Massive Fees
Good family lawyers will do things properly so you can look to the future. They will put you in touch with the financial, coaching, counselling services you require to move forward. They will use meetings, correspondence and documents to ensure your relationship with your ex moves forward in the most positive way forward. If you communicate your needs they will listen and this will keep the cost down. Court is always a last resort.
The key tool is communication. Whether you are in a relationship, getting out of a relationship, managing client relationships, telling your children about ending a relationship, co parenting or getting the most out of your lawyer. Communication.
And that, in a nutshell, is how to, or how not to, divorce.