The Good Divorce Toolkit
In this blog, marking day two of Resolution’s Good Divorce Week 2021, Family Law in Partnership senior consultant Pamela Collis considers what tools make up a Good Divorce Toolkit.
There are so many possible tools that the Good Divorce Toolkit would be too heavy to move if all were used. Some of the most important are:
- You intend to cooperate with your partner particularly if you are parents. Concentrate on listening to your children and your partner – you will be much better prepared for anything that comes;
- Remember that there are no “winners” in divorce and someone who is demanding financially may lose out in their relationship with children or generally;
- There are many different facets to a divorce situation and behaving with integrity is likely to be the most productive;
- Everything possible will be done to remain civil and constructive even if your former partner cannot always maintain that;
- You will be realistic about the outcome (see below) and will be flexible;
- Knowing the likely outcome, you are planning for your future rather than dwelling in the past.
If you are a parent, you will consider:
- How each and every decision will impact on your children;
- That whatever you say to your children will be remembered by them and may adversely impact on your relationship with the children or your partner’s relationship with the children;
- You will be listening to your children and those that can speak for them or provide information (teachers etc).
- Your children are with you for life, your former partner will not be.
Who to listen to:
- Most vital is a good divorce lawyer who practices the qualities you want in your divorce and who is personally recommended or whose reputation goes before them;
- Your divorce lawyer should be able to give you a realistic prognosis of what the future holds and once you have this you will be much better prepared for whatever the divorce throws at you;
- It helps if your divorce lawyer can listen and tailor the strategy to what works for you and your family.
Family and friends:
- If helpful, rehearse your thoughts and worries with your support circle rather than with your divorce lawyer who is likely to be very expensive. Then you can distill the questions and worries for the lawyer;
- Garner a friend or two or family member who knows you both, is calm, and can counsel you (or both of you if you are lucky);
- Instead of 2 above or in addition to 2 above, seek therapeutic help.
Other support services:
- Where there are children a parenting consultant may be a huge help;
- If the children are older, family therapy can pay dividends for them;
- See if there are any divorce support groups in your area.
A healthy outlook:
- Even a good divorce is unpleasant and stressful so look after your health;
- Talking to others about your situation can be calming and healthy;
- Take care of yourself and remember that you are vulnerable at this time;
- Experience shows that many people believe divorce was the best thing that happened to them even though they didn’t say that at the time!
Pamela Collis is a very senior and highly regarded family lawyer who has specialised in family law for over 35 years. Pamela is known for her pragmatic and constructive style and her strategic vision. If you require any advice or would like to discuss this blog further, please contact Family Law in Partnership consultant Pamela Collis below.