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Divorce- a practical checklist
We understand that going through a divorce can be a stressful and emotional process. You will need to make important decisions that could affect the rest of your life. The manner in which your divorce proceedings are conducted can have an impact on your on-going relationships long after the divorce proceedings are concluded. In order to help you prepare, and take some control over the process, the following practical considerations may assist:
Select the right lawyer
Choosing the right person to represent you is essential. The lawyer you choose can have a significant impact both in terms of the way in which your case is handled and then resolved, and the costs that you incur. Look for a lawyer with emotional intelligence.
If your financial position is complicated because you have trust assets or a family business, you should find a specialist family lawyer who has the expertise to deal with such matters. Oben has Trust Law specialists and a Chartered Accountant with experience of matrimonial forensic accountancy and together with our Family specialists we are experienced in assisting with high net worth and complex matrimonial cases.
Working with an experienced team will help you to reach an agreement on the arrangements for your children or financial matters more efficiently and will enable you to focus on your future.
Having chosen the right person to represent you, work with your legal team to put an action plan in place and be aware of the consequences of departing from the advice that you are given.
You will owe the Court a duty of full and frank disclosure. Consequently, your lawyer will need to know about all your assets (including pensions), liabilities, income and expenses. You can help this process by obtaining and providing as much information as you can about your financial position. If your finances are complex it may be helpful to notify your accountant so that they can assist you in putting together your financial information.
Keep the lines of communication open with your former partner
Whilst it may not always be easy, you should try to maintain lines of communication with your former partner. If you have children, respectful communication with your former partner is essential to enable you to fulfil your ongoing role as a parent. Do not communicate when you are upset, wait until you are calm. Recognise that you and your former partner may be at different stages in accepting that the marriage is over. Respectful, direct communication prevents reasonable requests being lost in translation. Do not underestimate the impact of a letter from a lawyer upon your former spouse. It is essential that correspondence with your former partner or their legal team is measured and focussed. Valid points are often lost in hostile and aggressive communication and this will invariably damage goodwill. In summary, the divorce process will be easier and less costly if you can reach agreement with your former partner, or at least communicate in a civil manner
Be realistic and constructive
Look forward and try to think about what you would like to achieve from your divorce. What are your priorities and objectives? When trying to resolve matrimonial matters you will almost inevitably need to make some compromises. If you have a clear idea of what you wish to achieve you should find it easier to resolve matters, as you will be more focussed on the final outcome. A focussed and constructive perspective will mean you are less likely to waste time and money arguing over small details. Try to find a fair solution that you are both able to live with.
If you would like to know more, or for a confidential enquiry please contact Advocate Claire Rigby (tel. 849713 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)