Divorce is a process of coping with bereavement

A messy divorce delays closure and the process of coping with a bereavement

A divorce is difficult for each of the spouses. Divorce means parting ways, also often from family-in-law, from friends, from a certain standard of living and sometimes, wholly or partially, from children. Clients who approached me nearly always found the divorce to be a painful process for themselves and often for the other as well. I discuss the impact of divorce with my clients. I consider this important as I have observed how it reduces tensions and alleviates the emotions involved. Clients find it comforting to have these discussions as they then realise that all clients experience divorce as a very difficult time in their lives. Moreover, these discussions give clients hope as they realise so many others before them have walked this path and that indeed a new path in their own lives awaits them.

Talking is key

My mediation background has taught me how important and effective open lines of communication are. This is why I always try to communicate as much as possible with the lawyer of the other spouse. I seek to get spouses and lawyers talking as soon as possible to explore whatever scope there may be to arrive at the joint settlement for the divorce. If there are children involved, it is of the utmost importance that the parents discuss the attendant practicalities with one another and learn to do things better. The care of children following a divorce usually involves a greater degree of consultation between the parents than before.

A lot needs to be arranged

Clearly, a divorce is not simply a question of strategy and approach. The legal issues involved concern care arrangements for children, a parenting plan, funding for children, maintenance for the other spouse, division of assets or settlement of the marriage contract and pension equalisation, surviving dependant’s pension and director and major shareholder’s pension. These topics are written about at length in professional journals and on the Internet for anyone interested in them. I follow these topics as closely as possible in order to advise and inform my clients to the best of my ability.