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Amicable divorce

Gary Lineker and Danielle Bux are in the news for it and previously Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin hit the headlines for amicable divorce with their "conscious uncoupling".


How realistic is it to "remain friends" during and after divorce?


The simple answer is that although many might wish to do so reality intrudes. "Friends" share close details of their lives and support each other in difficult times. It is very hard for a separating or divorcing couple to do that. Very often the mere fact of the separation is the most difficult time either of them may go through. As such although many couples are able to remain on friendly terms not many survive as “friends”.


The actual divorce process is a straightforward paper exercise in most cases and can often be dealt with in a way that does not cause unnecessary angst.


The source of difficulty is usually conflict over children or financial matters.   The legal system takes a far more enlightened approach than it used to and the majority of family lawyers these days are either trained in non-confrontational techniques or actually practice as mediators or collaborative lawyers. Such attitudes rather than a combative warlike stance can go a very long way to reducing tension and enabling even apparently insoluble cases to be resolved.


In collaborative law the solicitors work more closely together to enable clients to set the negotiating agenda and in facilitating positive discussion aimed at resolving issues but with a crucial decision not to issue proceedings. The strength of the method is that clients set their own agenda rather than having it imposed externally by a court. If either client does wish to issue proceedings the collaborative solicitors have to withdraw. Whilst acknowledging the spirit behind this approach some clients and some solicitors have problems with the rigidity of this approach. The latest thinking suggests a possible development of the collaborative method through which clients may be supported as indicated above but with the possibility of the solicitors remaining instructed if a dispute becomes unavoidable. Some suggest that disputes could be referred into an arbitration process.


This is actually quite similar to what has become known as "Collaborative Lite" in which the solicitors and clients agree to adopt a non-confrontational stance, to work together, to set agendas and to facilitate discussion but without the solicitors being obliged to withdraw if talks break down.


Many solicitors in the Worcester area are quite willing to use any of the above solutions but many clients find that "Collaborative Lite" ticks more boxes for their needs than the others.


At SME Solicitors we are prepared to be as flexible as our clients need in order to try to negotiate a sensible solution. If "Collaborative Lite" is of interest to you please contact Ian Stirzaker, our Head of Family Law at or telephone 01905 723561

We have a dedicated microsite for these matters, meet the team who would be assisting you and watch our latest videos >




Added: 18 Jan 2016 17:31

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