September, the month of separations!

For some reason September sees a peak in the number of people separating from their partners. It is believed that one of the reasons is that a couple have been on holiday and spent more time together which serves to highlight their differences.
Whatever the reason, you do not need to panic. If you seek legal advice you will have all of the facts that you need at an early stage. Many client’s leave our office after their first appointment with a great sense of relief. Emmersons Solicitors Family Law Team have years of experience. We are members of The Law Society Family Law Panel and Jacqueline Emmerson, our senior partner, is a Collaborative Family lawyer. With all of our experience we are able to dispel the myths surrounding separation. Advice given by your friends in the pub is no substitute for legal advice.
The usual way to approach matters is to gather all of your financial information eg. How much is your home worth, how much is left to pay on the mortgage, do you have other savings and investments, and do you have debt?
The next stage is to swap both parties financial information. At that stage it may be very easy to negotiate a settlement. If matters are more complicated then you could opt to attend meetings with your ex-partner and both solicitors. This can be a very speedy method of filling in gaps in financial information. It is often possible in a first meeting to narrow many issues still in dispute.
If you don’ want to come face to face with your ex-partner you can still attend a meeting whereby the solicitors meet in a room and use separate rooms to see each of their clients.
If you feel that you could both negotiate in an attempt to avoid court proceedings then Collaborative Family Law could be the answer. This process involves meetings as above. However, you both sign to say that you are committed to the process. The idea is to make you both work harder to find solutions that will avoid the adversarial nature of court proceedings. Clients usually comment that they feel more in control of their separation using Collaborative Law.
Looking at the processes above should help you to see how straightforward matters can be. You don’t have to worry about the law; your solicitor is there to guide you through the legal complexities allowing you to concentrate on moving forward.

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