Cruise through your divorce

The recent separation of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes has been the topic of much celebrity gossip in the press as might be expected.  The interesting issue as far as divorce lawyers are concerned is the speed and manner in which the resultant financial problems and arrangements for the children have been resolved.

Compared to the acrimonious issues that took Paul McCartney and Heather Mills so long to resolve through the courts, Tom and Katie appear to have reached a concluded agreement within a matter of days.  Could the breakdown of your relationship be dealt with so quickly and so amicably?  The answer to this is “yes”.

No doubt your finances are not as extensive as those of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.  Potentially their issues could have taken a considerable amount of unravelling, leading to protracted negotiations and drawn out court proceedings.  If they can avoid this then so can you.  How was it achieved though?

Perhaps we will never know the true mechanics of the negotiations that took place to quickly achieve an amicable agreement between Tom and Katie.  It would appear, though, that they managed to be able to discuss issues immediately and without the chance of the breakdown of the relationship deteriorating further and clouding those discussions.  One would assume that they both were able to remain focussed on reaching a settlement that they were both content with, that they could accept and live with, enabling them both to move on and rebuild their lives, especially for the children.

You could do the same if you found yourself in that unfortunate position.   In the USA, the use of Collaborative Family Law is often used as a means to sort out the problems following a relationship breakdown.  It may well have been the manner in which Tom and Katie brought their discussions to a speedy conclusion.  This method of Alternative Dispute Resolution is also available in England.

If you were to adopt the Collaborative approach then both of you would need to instruct a Family solicitor to advise you who is also a qualified Collaborative practitioner. Yourself, your former partner and the lawyers all sign up to a written agreement to work together as a team to bring matters to a conclusion through amicable discussions at 4-way round table meetings.  More particularly you agree that you will not issue court proceedings.  All discussions are client led and focus on the issues that the clients want to resolve.  Both solicitors are present to provide advice and assist in the discussions.  You each retain access to your own solicitor for personal advice at all times.

This approach to resolving disputes on a relationship breakdown is becoming more popular.  It offers the opportunity to sort out potential difficulties relating to finances, children and divorce in a dignified way, through amicable discussions.  You too could then be in the same position that it would appear Tom and Katie have reached resolving issues concerning finances and children in an amicable manner.  Remove the acrimony and decide the future for yourself rather than have a court impose a decision upon you that you are less likely to be able to accept and live with.

Emeryjohnson can offer you the Collaborative approach.  The firm is the winner of the Leicestershire Law Society Alternative Dispute Firm of the Year 2012.  Both Jonathan Foster and Emma Mitchell, Partners at the firm, are trained Collaborative Solicitors.  If you consider that Collaborative Family law may be the way forward for yourself then please do not hesitate to contact either to discuss issues in further detail.

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