Often, being involved in someone’s divorce (from a legal point of view of course) is a little like having a window into someone else’s world. It can seem like you are intruding on the most personal details of their life sometimes, but for most of the time it's more a feeling of being able to do something to help, guide people through difficult times and watch as they become more confident and get back on track.
Solicitors are perhaps in a unique position with this so when we decided to publish our periodic Diary of a Divorce, I was unsure how it would be received. Did people want to know the day-to-day trials and tribulations of someone going through a divorce? Did it have any relevance to anyone else or was it just one of these things that sounded like a good idea at the time?
Diary of a Divorce is a journal kept by a mum going through a difficult divorce. She agreed to keep a diary of her thoughts and chart the progress as a kind of experiment with us to see if we could both help illustrate the process that a couple have to go through to get a divorce, but also to show the rollercoaster ride that it can be and hopefully illustrate to others that all the emotions they are feeling are common ones. In effect, you are not alone and there are others out there going through the same things – and many who come out the other side stronger and happier.
We have had a good response to it, anecdotally at least, with people telling us they have read it and found it fascinating. There perhaps hasn’t been as much interaction with it as we might like, though some specific entries have promoted a flurry of comments. However, I guess it is a very personal experience and those reading it can take comfort from it without feeling the need to break cover and get involved.
The bottom line is that divorce is not just about the legal process. It is about the children, moving home, starting again, a whole legion of emotions, from anger and despair to elation and hope for the future. Lawyers play a significant role in the process, helping guide a person through what is an alien world that they have never had to know about before. But I also believe we are there to offer what additional support we can, from putting clients in touch with professionals they might need (accountants, life coaches, IFAs etc), to offering support materials, such as the Dairy of a Divorce, on our website to give a little bit of extra support and show they are not alone.
It is part of our dedication to offering world-class customer service, something people do not always associate with solicitors. Hopefully we can start to change that view.