04 December 2020

Good Divorce Week 2020. Day 5: Will I need a lawyer?

Today marks the end of Good Divorce Week 2020. We hope that our daily articles have provided you with some useful take away points and guidance.

As we noted at the beginning of this week, the breakdown of a relationship is undoubtedly one of the most stressful and painful life events you can go through. It can, quite understandably, be very difficult for our clients to manage their emotional distress whilst navigating the divorce process and the necessary negotiations. At the outset it can be useful to speak with your doctor and/ or therapist, who may be able to provide you with some additional support. 

Ideally, in the first instance, you should try to speak with your spouse and discuss how you want to move forward, the approach you want to take and what you both want. People’s main worry on the breakdown of their relationship is uncertainty as to what the future may hold. You may find that this conversation can provide you and your spouse with some comfort as to the approach the other is likely to take and ultimately, what they want. Try to be as open and honest as possible in this conversation.  

You may also find it useful for an independent third party to be present for such conversations and to provide you with support in trying to reach an agreement. This is called mediation.  The Jersey Family Mediation Service offers this service locally and more information can be found on their website.

In many cases, parties should and will be able to resolve matters between them, without the need for significant legal assistance. However, sometimes this is not possible and legal representation will assist. We are able to offer advice and support from the earliest stages of your relationship breakdown and we are always happy to have a short initial discussion with you at no charge. Sometimes this is all you will need to gather the information you need to have sensible and constructive discussions with your spouse. We have also included some links at the bottom of this page to sources of further information and support.

In cases involving significant or complex assets, legal advice will often be needed but, if both parties take a constructive and amicable approach, the process need not be difficult or lengthy, nor does there need to be conflict between you and your spouse. Good family lawyers will always have not only your best interests at heart, but also your family as a whole. 

We have talked this week about the importance of your approach to divorce from the earliest stages and why it is important to do all you can to adopt as amicable an approach as possible. We appreciate that this is not easy and we know that it is not possible to reach a mutual agreement in all cases. In difficult cases where one spouse is unwilling to adopt a reasonable approach, it can be necessary to robustly protect your position in court. However, court proceedings can be a hostile and traumatic process, and whilst some people want their “day in court”, experience tells us that parties who leave the fate of their claims in the hands of a judge do not, in fact, feel better than those who have had been able to shape their own future by reaching settlement at an earlier stage and without court determination. 

Some websites you might find useful are below for your perusal: 

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