Should auld acquaintance be forgot?

When a marriage is in trouble, the New Year is often a time when couples may decide to separate. With a feeling of a new start on the horizon and the opportunity to contemplate the future, this time of year seems to provide spouses with courage to make what would otherwise be regarded as unimaginable decisions about their marriage.

If you are in the position of deciding whether to separate, what should you be thinking about?

First, and most importantly, acknowledging that there is a problem and speaking with a solicitor about it, does not mean that divorce is inevitable. At Warners our specialist family lawyers have links with various other experts with whom we can put you in touch to explore whether the differences between you can be reconciled.

Communication is absolutely key. It is inevitable that you and your spouse will be feeling hurt by the acknowledgment and discussion about marital problems, but if you can keep talking to each other you stand a far better chance of either being able to reconcile or, being able to resolve matters in a way that will not devastate the whole family.

You will each have many questions if separation is necessary such as:

  • What will happen with the children?
  • Where will we live?
  • What will happen to the house?
  • Will we be able to manage financially?

When meeting your solicitor for the first time, they will be able to reassure you about these issues.  Warners family lawyers will also advise you about all methods available to you and your spouse to help you resolve matters, without the need to go to court. These include mediation or collaborative law:


A mediator assists you and your spouse in directly negotiating a settlement between yourselves to separate your finances and make arrangements for your children. Mediators do not give legal advice, which you would be encouraged to receive from your respective solicitors as the mediation process goes along.

Collaborative law

Specialist Collaborative Lawyers are trained to help you and your spouse participate in a series of meetings. Legal advice is given at those meetings to each of you, whilst you work together as a team with your collaborative lawyers to find a solution to your financial situation and make arrangements for the children.

The advantage of both these options is that you retain absolute control over the outcome. These processes are flexible; allowing you to discuss and resolve matters in a way that suits you, rather than in a one size fits all Court arena.

Sometimes it may not be possible to agree matters and the above options might not be suitable for your circumstances. In that instance, Warners has lawyers who can assist you with the more traditional approach.

If you require advice on family breakdown, even if it is a quick chat on the telephone, please feel free to contact one of our specialist lawyers by calling 01732 747900 or emailing us at [email protected]

We offer FREE initial advice, terms apply, call for details.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only.  They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.  Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

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