Divorce Doesn't Have to Be Difficult

Article excerpt

Byline: Ian Kennerley

SOME say divorce is easy to do these days but in reality, as anyone who has been through separation or divorce knows, it can be incredibly difficult and the consequences farreaching - particularly when there are children involved.

And 'divorce' no longer relates only to married couples. Four out of five people in the UK believe that if you live with someone over a period of time you assume rights as 'common law' husband and wife.

That simply isn't true, and in fact you need just as much advice if a 'live-together' relationship breaks down as you would if you were married.

But before you go down the route of divorce or separation, it's vital to make sure that your marriage or relationship has indeed 'irretrievably broken down' (the one thing that has to be proven before a divorce can be granted).

If you know that your relationship is over, it is vital to get the right support. Family and friends are invaluable, but the right professional help is equally important to help you through a difficult time and build your future.

Family law is not like any other area of law, so look for a family specialist. Good family lawyers are compassionate whilst understanding the financial realities of life and will apply their experience and knowledge to your individual situation to reach the right solutions for you and your family.

You also need to be prepared to hear things you might not want to hear. A good lawyer will advise you and not just tell you what you want to hear only for it to be discovered at the door of the court that your aspirations are unrealistic. You need an objective appraisal and clear advice from the outset.

Your lawyer should work with you to identify early on what the main issues are likely to be in your case and how they may be resolved. They will also talk you through the options, so that you can find the one that is right for you. They won't just automatically go through the motions of a 'traditional' divorce if you think mediation could help you reach the right decisions.

You might decide that you don't want to drag things through the courts and you would prefer a less confrontational approach. …