This week on the BBC 1 programme Morning Live the recent increase in people contacting law firms about separation and divorce was discussed. A lawyer was interviewed online and asked what she felt individuals should be looking for in a lawyer when they were seeking advice about parting from a partner and how they should ideally manage themselves. What she said seemed to make sense to me, but how achievable it is depends on individual circumstances, I guess.
Amanda, the lawyer being quizzed, suggested that if partners started their separation and divorce path expecting it to be a battle, then that is what it would become. In my experience when many couples reach the point of separation emotions will be running high and the chances are there will be elements of acrimony evident, it can be very difficult to put these feelings to one side and take a more reasonable, measured approach. A strong relationship with a skilful legal advisor can help with this. Rather than add fuel to the flames making the process more incendiary, representatives of legal firms can help individuals manage their expectations and anxieties making the whole process a little less painful.
Amanda also advised that if both parents appreciate and understand that children need to have a relationship with both parents, as long as it is safe enough to do so, they will achieve a more successful relationship as separated parents which will in turn benefit their children going forward.
One of the interviewers interjected that they believed that some separated parents had used Covid-19 restrictions to stop the other parent seeing the children. I guess inevitably some ill-advised parents will use the current circumstances to prevent their ex-partner seeing the children, without considering any negative effects it might have on their child’s emotional wellbeing. This is unfortunate, unhelpful and some might say illogical. Sharing the parenting load between both ex-partners means a break for both from home schooling and gives the children the chance to experience different environments.
Choosing the right lawyer is highly significant, finding someone you like, trust and who you can communicate easily with, is pivotal when managing such stressful and challenging circumstances. Lawyers and their clients should have the ability to work together to achieve the best outcomes. If the client feels accepted, understood and that their legal representative empathises with them, then that can really help them to feel confident going forward. At Brethertons we pride ourselves on the excellent service we provide our clients, here is an example of a recent review; "Everyone was friendly, happy and the office was a happy place to visit. Most people think solicitors are unfriendly and frightening but this was never the case with Brethertons. The people were brilliant, all were helpful and the whole experience was very relaxing. I never felt out of place."
We shouldn’t assume that partners having to spend huge amounts of time together is always a recipe for disaster, for some, the opportunity to do more things as a couple or family has enhanced their relationship. However, if lockdown has shown the cracks in the relationship to the degree that they are beyond repair, Brethertons has a team of experts who can offer both the legal expertise and the understanding and empathy required to support clients through ending a marriage or cohabitation.
In my role at Brethertons I specifically deal with the emotional response to relationship and family breakdown and can help parents understand the effects of that on their children and offer advice on how to support them through the process. My email is email@example.com and the Family Team can be contacted on 01788 579579