Yes. Separating Together: One Couple One Lawyer represents a significant step forward in terms of options available to couples. For those seeking an amicable separation but who require help understanding the law and sorting out the necessary legal formalities this could be the solution.
Separating Together: One Couple One Lawyer
When separation becomes inevitable it is important to think carefully about the choices that lay ahead and importantly how best to manage the process for both you and your family.
Divorce and separation are inherently stressful, but the process need not involve costly and lengthy litigation. At Weightmans we offer a truly broad and bespoke range of services tailored to the needs of you and your family which now includes Separating Together: One Couple One Lawyer, as well as other non court options such as mediation and collaborative law.
Based on the Resolution Together concept, Separating Together: One Couple One Lawyer helps make the process of separation simple, straightforward and cost-efficient.
Separating Together: One Couple One Lawyer represents a significant step forward and for those seeking an amicable separation but require help understanding the law and sorting out the necessary legal formalities this could be the solution.
What is Separating Together: One Couple One Lawyer and would it be suitable for me?
The One Couple One Lawyer approach enables you and your former partner to instruct a single lawyer to provide advice and support to you both. Previously it was a requirement that both of you had your own legal representation. The lawyer will help guide you both towards a final outcome whether relating to the financial issues that arise following divorce, dissolution or separation or arrangements relating to your children or both.
If your joint aim is to reach an outcome together that meets your respective needs and the needs of your children then this could be an appropriate option.
It would be particularly suitable if you think that:
- Having a single source of advice that is aimed for your joint benefit would be preferable
- You both wish to work together towards a resolution but need help first in understanding the law as it applies to your particular circumstances
- You have already discussed the terms of an agreement but need to know how that would fit within the law or simply need help in making the arrangement legally binding
You must both give your informed consent to the sharing of all required information and disclosure and must agree that the lawyer who is working with you will not act for either of you individually nor represent either or both of you in court other than where it has been agreed for the purposes of filing an agreed draft order on your behalf.
Who would it not be suitable for?
It is unlikely to be suitable in all cases. This is particularly so where there exists one or more of the following elements:
- any form of abuse within the relationship,
- concerns surrounding safeguarding,
- mental health or capacity concerns,
- there exists a significant power imbalance between you,
- either person intends to, or believes that the other may seek to, ‘hide’ information,
- you have differing views on how to structure a settlement.
What are the benefits?
- We are specialists. All of our lawyers are highly experienced family lawyers in both finance and children cases with outstanding reputations for helping couples find swift resolutions to what otherwise might seem overwhelming family problems.
- One Couple One Lawyer aims to maintain or even strengthen relationships between the parties involved.
- Litigation can be costly, with legal fees paid by both parties and the potential for lengthy legal battles. Using one lawyer can be much more cost-effective, reducing unnecessary expenses.
- The parties are empowered to craft their own tailored solutions rather than relying on a judge's decision. This results in outcomes that better align with the unique needs and priorities of your family.
- It can lead to much quicker resolutions, enabling parties to move forward with their lives sooner than would be the case with litigation.
How does it work?
All couples seeking to use Separation Together: One Couple One Lawyer will have an individual meeting with their lawyer. This meeting is confidential during which we will discuss your aims and whether this may be an appropriate option.
The meeting will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions about the process as well as consider alternate non court options including Mediation and Collaborative Law that may be better suited to you and your particular circumstances.
Should you both chose to use Separation Together: One Couple One Lawyer and provided it is considered suitable for the two of you by the lawyer - a retainer and agreement will then be signed that sets out the terms of work.
Thereafter the process will depend upon whether there are financial issues or children issues (or both) that need to be resolved as follows:
Most couples will need to consider what will happen to the family home as well as any other property or investments they may have including any business or partnership assets and pensions. Details of the your wealth will therefore be collated during a process of financial disclosure during which all relevant information is obtained and exchanged and valuation reports prepared as necessary before advice is then provided to help facilitate negotiations. The advice will reflect the way the law would see the resolution of the issues and the bracket of likely outcomes. Please note that the law relating to married or civilly partnered couples differs from that if you are unmarried.
In cases involving arrangements for children, whether or not in conjunction with any financial issues, areas of mutual agreement will be identified and advice given in relation to any ‘sticking points’ to help facilitate negotiations. The advice will reflect the approach that would be taken by the court and the bracket of likely outcomes that addresses as necessary how the children will share or spend time with each parent (otherwise commonly referred to as contact, access, residence and custody).
Although we cannot negotiate for you, our lawyers can help you both to understand the law relevant to your particular circumstances to help you find the best solution for you and your family.
This could also involve where appropriate bringing in other professionals to support you both to deal with particular questions that may arise for example regarding pension valuations or the tax consequences of a particular arrangement.
Where an agreement is reached the terms can then be incorporated within a written document or draft order to be filed with the court as necessary.
If an agreement cannot be reached or if Separating Together: One Couple One Lawyer is not appropriate we will discuss other approaches that you may wish to consider including Mediation, Collaborative Law, Arbitration and Parenting co-ordination.
If you would like to find out more about Separating Together: One Couple One Lawyer please click here to arrange an appointment.
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