It’s good divorce week. That may seem a misnomer for many people as divorce often brings with it a great deal of sadness, but as family lawyers, we can help to limit the impact.
What does a good divorce look like?
It’s undoubtedly different for different people but I have the peculiar catbird seat of having experienced my parents’ good divorce and have led hundreds of my clients through their own good divorce over the course of my career.
Some common themes emerge:
- Respect for one another.
- Identifying shared values and shared goals early.
- Where there are points of difference look at it from the others perspective (most easily done by listening).
- Focus on the needs of children rather than self; where there are children involved recognise that you are modelling good/bad behaviour.
- Understand that compromise is inevitable.
- Don’t try and punish the other.
I have remained surprised by how much my parents’ divorce has continued to raise its head as I have navigated my own life (I accept probably more than most as I work in this field) but I remain eternally grateful to them that it is not with a heavy heart; I am sure I was shielded from their inevitable pain but they both moved on to happier marriages and continued to co-parent until my father’s death. There was never any question as to who should be at my wedding/graduation/milestones.
A ‘Good divorce’ is possible if there is a will. The growth of offerings from lawyers such as mediation, collaborative law, and one lawyer services mean that we can support that very noble aim and keep cases out of court. All of the solicitors at Taylor Walton are members of Resolution and committed to navigating the options with our clients to help find what a good divorce looks like for them and their family.