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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

Changing how couples divorce

4 Comments

 Woolley & Co is an unusual law firm – for a start we only do family law. Our lawyers work from a home office base and are given full flexibility to work and see clients when and where they want. But that’s not what makes us really different.

Our difference is that we genuinely want to change the way couples’ divorce, to remove some of the barriers (like the concept of blame in divorce) and to minimise the disruption to the family.
You might think we are idealists or that we have ulterior motives. Well, we do have an ulterior motive actually – we want happy clients and happy lawyers. For us happy clients are those who are pleased with the service we provide and that goes way beyond our legal advice. It comes from demonstrating that we care about the particular circumstances faced by each client and are trying to see the big picture on their behalf. When someone is going through divorce that means looking at a number of different dimensions:
• Legal
• Emotional
• Financial
• Relationships
• Home

From experience we know that going through the divorce process is tough. It can be emotional, costly, put a strain on your health and on other relationships. For some the sense of ‘failure’ felt as a result of a relationship breakdown starts to affect their work and can lead to stress, depression and worse. For others the legal process is unintelligible and seems to conspire against them. For children caught up in all of this there’s the change in lifestyle, the potential of new partners for mum and dad and how to get over their own feelings of guilt, shame and so much more.

You’ll notice none of what I’ve written about so far has anything to do with the law – and that’s my point. We are a law firm, our solicitors are experts in family law but we also need to provide a service that tackles the other elements of a divorce, or at the very least have trusted professional contacts we know can provide the right level and type of support to our clients.

We are in the process of exploring with our lawyers how we can enhance our service – we’ve recently teamed up with Naomi Richards, The Kids Coach, to provide free places for our clients on her workshops for children of separated parents. We are exploring books that we could make available free to our clients (like the Guide for separated parents – putting children first). We’ve built links with Counsellors to whom we can refer clients for help with dealing with the emotional and psychological side of things. And all our lawyers have good connections with financial advisors, mortgage brokers and pensions experts who can sit clients down and work through the financial implications of a marriage split.

Yet we still don’t feel this is enough.

What else should we be doing to enhance our service and change the way couples’ divorce, forever? We really do want ideas and will happily talk to anyone who would like to work with us in this quest.

Andrew Woolley
Family Solicitor
Email me directly with your ideas if you don’t want to comment here.

Comments

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Couldn’t agree with you more, especially the bit about providing clients with intros to trusted services(such as counsellors and properly accredited IFAs).

The only thing I’d add is that as a solicitor/collaborative lawyer/mediator, I see first hand that mediation offers the best outcomes and does so with a thoroughness and at a price lawyers cannot compete with.  I believe that one day more couples will speak to a mediator first before going to separate lawyers….

By MediationNotWar on Friday June 25, 2010

I agree with the above comment of Stephen in so many ways.

We pride ourselves on working closely with coaches and counsellors and are also proud of our record of successfully mediating an acceptable settlement in almost all our clients cases!...

By Andrew Woolley on Friday June 25, 2010

It is a delight to know of a firm offering a holistic approach to family law matters, which rarely actually involve law, but frequently are more to do with the emotional state of the parties.  As we now have a variety of options open to parties involved in family law matters, such as mediation, collaborative law, and the tradition method of utilising the services of a solicitor, I believe that the three should work closely together to find the appropriate solution for the parties on a case by case basis.  Recognising that we are all searching for the same outcome, that is, the best outcome for the clients, ought to take us one step closer to helping many families remaining able to communicate post divorce. ...

By Amanda Bancroft on Monday June 28, 2010

Interesting to hear Nick Clegg on the radio today saying he wanted views on just these issues for the Family Justice Review Panel.

We’ll be commenting, of course! Are you?

http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/newsrelease160210a.htm ...

By Andrew Woolley on Friday July 2, 2010

What do you think?


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