Six ways to minimise divorce stress

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Divorce or separation ranks as one of the most stressful experiences of a person’s life, but there are ways of minimising this stress. The process of arranging legal and financial separation itself can be painful, although this often depends on the approach that is taken and the support given, especially by the solicitors who are handling the case.

Barker Gotelee has a sympathetic team of specialist solicitors who are experienced in dealing with relationship breakdown and all associated matters, such as child arrangements, finance and property, civil partnerships and domestic violence.

If you are experiencing a relationship breakdown, you are likely to be feeling a range of emotions including sadness, anger and uncertainty. Our solicitors strive towards achieving the best possible outcome for you at this stressful time, so you can rebuild your life and look forward to what the future brings.

While our experienced solicitors understand that facing divorce or separation is extremely traumatic, there are steps we can take to limit the stress.

1. Find a solicitor specialising in family law as soon as possible

The sooner you have an expert involved in your case, the sooner you can start making progress. Knowing what your options are early on helps to reduce the stress arising from uncertainty. Resolving the issue of property and finance is one of the main concerns and we make the process easier by helping you reach a solution, working diligently to get you the best possible outcome. If there is a business involved, such as a farm or a company, you will also need a solicitor with experience in this business area too.

2. Reach a settlement quickly

Divorce raises all sorts of emotions, often with feelings running high on both sides. While it is important that your solicitor reaches a settlement as quickly as possible, they should also be slow enough to be thorough, as it is in your interest to consider all the fine details. If you follow your solicitor’s guidance, they will be able to draw up a settlement that is more likely to be approved by a court; this helps keep costs down as it avoids both parties meeting in court, which is a lengthy, drawn out process. Try to limit the to-ing and fro-ing as much as you can, as the sooner you both reach clarity, the less stress it causes. So, look for a solicitor with a co-operative and amicable approach, maximising the chances of finding an agreement between you and minimising the prospect of having to go to court.

3. Consider mediation

As you go through a divorce or separation, you may find it hard to reach a compromise and may therefore overlook some of the most important matters of concern. Working with a mediator will give you greater focus as they will help you and your partner work towards reaching an acceptable solution. This could help you resolve difficult topics (such as money and property, and issues that relate to the children) amicably without having to go to court.

4. Reach clarity on children’s arrangements quickly

If you and your partner find it difficult to reach a compromise, mediation (and in some cases children’s mediation) may be the best course of action. It is important to resolve matters that relate to children as quickly as possible. This is because it helps reduce the stress on your child if they know where they stand and how things are going to be from the start. Addressing your children’s worries in this way and reducing their stress will also help reduce the parents’ stress levels too. If everyone knows what the arrangements are and sticks to the agreement (even before it has been imposed by the court) this reduces the opportunity of a long, drawn out conflict.

5. Aim for long-term fairness

An agreement reached between both parties, with appropriate guidance from a solicitor (rather than an agreement imposed on you by a court) will be far easier for you to live with in the long term. This helps to reduce acrimony and makes it more straightforward for both parties to move on with the next stage of their life, thus reducing longer-term stress.

6. Seek additional help if you need it

All sorts of issues arise in the case of divorce and separation; there’s not only the stress of the break-up to deal with and the consequences of this, but also the subject of money, and in some cases the damaging effect of emotional and/or physical abuse. Addressing these matters will reduce stress in the short and longer-term. It’s a good idea to choose a solicitor who can suggest or make appropriate referrals to support services

Barker Gotelee has a committed team of specialist divorce solicitors who strive to achieve the best possible deal for you using a co-operative and amicable approach to achieve fairness for both sides. We have a trained mediator in-house to help you avoid conflicts of interest quickly and easily – and child mediation is also available where appropriate. For sensitive issues, our solicitors are experienced in making referrals to the relevant support services, if necessary.

Amanda Crowe is a divorce solicitor at Barker Gotelee, Solicitors in Ipswich.

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