Unmarried but in need of legal help and don’t know where to go?

Julia Smart

What Collaborative Family Lawyers can do for you

These days, there are all sorts of way of achieving a civilised divorce, but what options exist for the growing number of couples who simply live together, or unmarried parents who do not share a home?

To whom can they turn for expert advice which won’t result in them becoming embroiled in long drawn-out and often acrimonious legal proceedings?

Collaborative Family Practice is one of the best alternatives available for couples who wish to resolve the issues surrounding their divorce constructively, and aims to minimise the stress and strain on their children and wider family.

However, what is less well known is the fact that the same specially trained and accredited Collaborative professionals can also work with couples and parents who are not married.

So what makes the Collaborative approach so special? The essence of it is the realisation that focusing on the pain and unhappiness of the past is not going to create a healthy foundation for the future. Arguing over the blame is just that; an argument that is likely to go on and on.

The Collaborative approach helps couples draw a line under the past emotional problems, so that they can focus their energy on sorting out the most important issue – their futures. Being able to find closure and to move on with a sense of dignity and respect is vital.

Rather than being caught in the middle of warring parents, the needs of any children become the focal point. Parents see the benefit to their children of being able to maintain a sensible working relationship and understanding each other’s feelings. The distress and potential long term harm to children can be minimised.

Be under no illusion though, the Collaborative approach is not a “soft” option, nor does it mean that everything is simply split 50:50. Facing emotional, practical and financial issues head on is never going to be the easy option. Listening to, and finding common ground with your “ex” is never going to be easy.

The Collaborative approach allows the couple concerned to express (in a supportive environment) how they feel and what in broad terms they hope to achieve for themselves and their family, post separation. Collaborative meetings are carefully structured by the professionals involved to achieve a positive outcome. Some couples will need immediate assistance from a Family Consultant (Counsellor/Psychotherapist) to resolve emotional or relationship issues, whereas others may need Financial Experts to help them understand and unravel their finances. Collaborative Lawyers will work with the couple towards drawing together all the issues, and with their expertise, focus on helping to achieve a binding settlement for the future.

Julia Smart
Tel: 0117 929 0451



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