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Tips For What To Consider Before Embarking On Divorce

Thursday, 20 December 2012

No one gets married thinking they will ever get divorced. It’s a difficult time in anyone’s life and involves complex personal and practical issues. If you have reached the unfortunate conclusion that your marriage has come to an end, here are my top 4 tips to consider before you take steps towards divorce:

1. Consider Marriage Counselling

This may sound a strange suggestion but divorce is a big decision. Marriage counselling provides the opportunity to investigate whether there is a chance of salvaging the marriage. Even if there is no possibility of a reconciliation, it can help provide some closure. This is particularly useful when the decision to end the marriage was taken by only one of couple (which is often the case). A session with a marriage counsellor, allows the other party to hear what their spouse has to say about their decision. Don’t rush in to divorce, because you are angry or upset. Make carefully considered decisions. Decide whether the marriage is really over.

2. Plan How To Tell The Children

It is not unusual for emotions to be running high between Mum and Dad, when they are to separate and/or divorce. It is very important to put aside your personal feelings towards your spouse when it comes to decisions about the children. The children need to be informed that Mum and Dad are separating. Telling the children is upsetting and riddled with guilt. There is a correct way to approach this. It is how the parents approach their divorce, rather than the divorce itself, that has the biggest impact on the children. Set a good example. Plan when and what the children will be told. Where possible, both parents should tell the children together, showing a united force about the decision. Reassure the children that you both love them and that will never change. Encourage questions, and don‘t assign blame on either parent.

3. Set Up A Good Support System

Separation and divorce is a challenging and confusing time. It is important to get emotional support and practical help. Do not struggle alone. Choose trusted friends and relatives to confide in how you are feeling. Let them support you. Professional support from a divorce coach and/or counsellor is also beneficial. Professionals provide a different type of support to that provided by loved ones. You can discuss things with them in complete confidence, in a non- judgemental environment. When you are ready, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced family law solicitor. They can provide invaluable guidance regarding your legal rights and options available for approaching YOUR divorce.

4. Get Organised

There are ways in which you can prepare for the divorce process. It helps to be organised. Start to make a list of your family’s financial information- e.g. family home, bank accounts, savings etc. You may also want to collect together relevant paperwork regarding this. If you are unsure of any details of your spouse’s income etc, don’t worry. The more detail you can gather together about your financial position, the better prepared you will be for the meeting with the solicitor. The more organised you are for your meeting with the solicitor, the calmer and more confident you will feel. You will have a productive meeting, and the solicitor will be able to provide clear advice about your position. This will help you to feel more in control. This is very helpful at a time when things may be feeling a little overwhelming.

Your divorce coach, counsellor and solicitor can give you further help and guidance regarding how best to approach your divorce. Getting the right support and advice puts you in the best position possible to make strong informed decisions, through a difficult time.

©Rhiannon Ford 2012

Rhiannon Ford is a divorce coach and consultant. She provides practical help and emotional support to people going through divorce and separation. Rhiannon practised as a family law solicitor for many years, and is also a personal development coach. She uses her legal experience and coaching skills to provide clarity and comfort to help navigate her clients through the complexities of the divorce process. Find out more about her divorce consultancy services at www.rhiannonford.co.uk

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