This doesn’t often happen in the literal sense, but some divorcing husbands and wives seem to have feelings strong enough to want to draw blood from each other, which family law solicitors have to try and manage during the course of a case.
A retiring Judge, Sir Paul Coleridge, told a family law conference in London at the end of last year, that lawyers should take the lead in developing more innovative and daring alternatives to the “bloodshed, time and cost of court”. Sir Paul also called for an overhaul of outdated divorce law (unchanged for 40 years) which is not going to happen any time soon.
What is available to improve the divorce experience however, is alternative dispute resolution such as mediation, which couples undertake as a more cost-effective way of negotiating arrangements in the presence of a third party (who is not a legal adviser) for the children and financial settlements. Or there is the collaborative law option which does involve a family lawyer on both sides, but in a four-way process which commits to avoiding court proceedings and achieving a consensual outcome at the end of the day. This prioritises the welfare of the children and lays the foundation for a civilized relationship between the divorcing parties for the long term future.
The learned Judge referred to even the most intractable and difficult cases being capable of resolution in a more “sophisticated and modern way” avoiding “the days of gladiatorial wars of titans”. He remarked that “we cannot wait for the courts to get round to moving into a more streamlined and user friendly environment”.
You can avoid court altogether with collaborative law. If you would like more information about this option, please visit the local collaborative law website at www.pcflg.co.uk or ring us for more details.