September 26, 2019

Why solutions – not strife – are the way forward when ending married life

By Norman Taylor, collaborative family law specialist

With legal costs reportedly rocketing to £1.5million in Lisa Armstrong and Ant McPartlin’s bitter divorce, it appears the couple will finally meet with their respective lawyers to thrash out a division of assets.  

This very public, acrimonious and high-profile case – which will undoubtedly have taken its toll on the couple and those closest to them – could have taken a more private and dignified route.   

In our extensive experience, most couples terminating their marriage prefer to avoid a costly and stressful courtroom battle over dividing their assets. They also want to ensure their children’s best interests by planning and sharing their future development and well-being.

Collaborative Family Law week which starts on September 30, is a timely reminder of how the collaborative process puts you in control, enabling you and your ex to work together with your respective lawyers to achieve the right agreement for the whole family. 
You and your former partner/spouse each instruct a collaboratively trained lawyer and agree in writing to work together to resolve issues surrounding your separation.
A series of four way meetings with you and your lawyers progress at the pace you jointly set, discussing the needs and interests of everyone directly involved for the best outcome.  

To find out if collaboration is the best way forward for you, answer the questions below:

  1. Do you want a divorce process which is fair for you, your ex and your children?
  2. Is it important that this option enables you and your ex to remain on good terms and communicate regularly?
  3. Do you want a process that factors in the ‘human element’ in face-to-face discussions that is often missed or misinterpreted in written communications?
  4. Is it important that you can address issues with dignity and in a safe and secure environment?
  5. Are you seeking a path that helps you all as a family to accept the past and be positive about the future?
  6. Do you want to remain in control of your individual destinies, making choices you both want rather than having decisions imposed by third parties who do not know you?

If you embark on this process we recommend appointing a specialist collaboratively trained lawyer such as myself or Jones Myers partner, Nicki Mitchell at our York office, who are members of Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers committed to non-confrontational divorce and separation.

‎ For queries about the collaborative process or divorce related issues call our Leeds office 0113 246 0055, our Harrogate office 01423 276104, or our York office on 01904 202550. Visit, email or tweet us @helpwithdivorce