But when your relationship or marriage has broken down beyond repair, the idea of talking to your ex to work out what’s going to happen with your lives, your children, your home, your finances can feel like a step too far.
Think of the children
It might be difficult to see how you can possibly have those conversations with each other, but consider this: if you and your ex can’t agree, and things go to court, the starting point for the judge will be – without question – putting your children first, and making any decisions with their current and future welfare as the priority.
No matter how far your relationship has broken down, surely you, as parents, remain the people best equipped to decide what’s best for your children?
Help is at hand
We know how difficult it can be to put aside the pain you’re experiencing, or feelings of anger towards your ex, but we also know that despite all of those feelings, deep down the majority of parents want what’s best for their children.
This is where collaborative family law can be at its most powerful. Essentially, it gives you the best of both worlds. It enables you to have those – often difficult – conversations with your ex with the support of your lawyers. Those lawyers will be sitting around the table with you throughout the process to give you advice and guidance and help you overcome the inevitable sticking points.
They’re also there to remind you of the reasons you’ve chosen to resolve issues in this way, which – more often than not – includes putting your children first.
Picture the scene: one of you wants to move to the other end of the country, taking your children with you. The other won’t agree. In a court situation, a decision will be made by someone who doesn’t know you, or your family.
Using collaborative law instead gives you the ability to recognise the problem and talk it through with experienced lawyers who know what a court would do, and – crucially – can help you work through the options to reach a solution that you can both live with, without having to go to court.
Your lawyers can help you look at the pros and cons of any scenario. And, because you each have a lawyer, you know they are looking at things from your perspective whilst keeping what you have both agreed is most important to you – the long term wellbeing of your children – at the forefront of the conversation.