How divorced parents can ensure this Easter is memorable for the right reasons

The story of the exes who reunite every year for a family snapshot with their young son is a salutary reminder that parents divorce each other – not their children.

Their cooperative approach also reinforces the importance of collaboration and mediation which centre on putting the interests of children first and trying to resolve matters without going to court.

Collaboration entails each parent appointing their own collaboratively trained lawyer and meeting to work things out – backed up by support and legal advice. Both sign a contract committing them to looking to resolve matters by agreement.

Placing the emphasis on respectful and dignified resolution, collaboration places children at the heart of the process and keeps details private.

Mediation involves an independent third party, a mediator, who helps both sides come to an agreement. It is a highly effective method for couples to discuss issues between them that can result in a swift resolution and save on legal expenses.

Another alternative to avoid going to court is arbitration where sessions are also held in private at clients’ convenience, at comfortable venues – and where an arbitrator determines who should have what. Similar to a judge, they collect relevant facts and evidence and base their decision on this evidence – taking into account the views of both parties. The Award is final and binding in both parties.

Arbitrators are also experienced family lawyers who are either former judges or family law barristers or solicitors. Jones Myers founder, Peter Jones, was one of the country’s first arbitrators, when arbitration was introduced in 2012 to resolve differences on financial and property matter.

While meeting up for family photos may be unrealistic for many divorced couples, the above processes can help to ensure that arrangements both financial and relating to children – will be sustainable.

Key to success is for separated couples to adopt a positive attitude and for there to be trust between the clients and their family lawyers.

Jones Myers has vast experience in helping couples reach a constructive settlement to their differences, avoiding protracted arguments and promoting co-operation between them

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