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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

Divorce doesn’t have to be expensive


I’m feeling a little bit revolutionary. I think it’s time for a change. Something is blowing in the wind. Working together, we can change the world, and all that.

The way people divorce needs to change. Over the length of time I have been doing these blogs, and some time before, I have talked about a whole host of changes that would make the separation process better, from no fault divorce, to pre-marriage counselling and compulsory mediation before a divorce can be agreed.

Most recently, I have got on my soapbox about not just offering services relating to the legal side of divorce but helping people with everything else connected to it and changing the way people divorce.

It all comes down to making the process easier, faster and less emotionally destructive.

Divorce doesn’t have to be expensive. Divorce doesn’t have to be confrontational. Divorce doesn’t have to be crippling for the children. Divorce doesn’t have to be the end of a family. It is simply the end of one relationship. By pointing this out and signposting ways for couples to calmly navigate the legalities of a divorce, while supporting their family emotionally, we really can change things for the better. We can make bad situations better.

Mediation and collaborative law can help remove some of the confrontation. Pushing for a no fault divorce can get away from the concept of blame when a relationship breaks down. Ensuring the children’s needs are always put first and their ongoing well-being is catered for will help put other family members at ease. Passing on professional expertise at how to keep down the cost of a divorce will again head off potential flash-points for a couple ultimately going their separate ways. Have a look at our latest professionals newsletter for more examples of what we can do.

Lawyers are not generally renowned for their compassion and empathy but they are often the ones most regularly in a position when those attributes are most needed. There is no need for the myth to perpetuated. We can be caring too! Customers need to be asking questions when looking for a family lawyer about things like fixed costs to give them peace of mind, access to allied experts in coaching and finance, for instance, to whom they can be directed, and any additional support offered. We solicitors need to make sure we offer world class customer service encompassing complete care, not just taking payment for guiding clients through the legalities of divorce. These are areas in which specialist legal services providers can excel in the face of increased competition from supermarkets and other institutions. It is specialist knowledge and customer care that will win the day.

Change needs to come from both quarters, but together we can change the world.

Andrew Woolley
Divorce Solicitor


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Andrew keep going with your revolution - there’s a lot of support for the changes which are needed and though some will take longer than others to be adopted, all things start with small steps.

A question I’ve often pondered and not asked, how do the lawyers cope personally?  Do they find it easy to switch off at the end of the day?  They are the fall guys in so many instances, often unfairly….

By Jackie Walker on Friday July 23, 2010

It is indeed a very hard job, emotionally, for lawyers. Only a minority of lawyers can cope. As you realise, they have to take a lot of emotional baggage and often get the blame for the system. In our firm, we have counselling/coaching support but many firms offer nothing which is appalling….

By Andrew Woolley on Monday July 26, 2010

I’d like to echo Jackie’s call to you to “keep going with your revolution”! I have had the pleasure to meet a Woolley and Co Lawyer through networking, and was impressed by the way in which she represented all that Woolley and Co are striving for. I too think that the revolution will start with small steps - your steps of engaging lawyers who have real emoathy for the company ethic, and of using coaches/counsellors for the benefit of your clients are surely a step in the right direction….

By justinecoach on Monday July 26, 2010

Many thanks. I am genuinely proud of our lawyers who I think are the cream of the divorce profession. Certainly, we only interview about 5% of the CVs we get so it isn’t easy to get in!
But I think the use of coaches with our lawyers has been an enormous aid to their development….

By Andrew Woolley on Monday July 26, 2010

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