28 Dec Broughty Spotlight January 2021
New Year, New Start.
January can be a challenging month, especially given the 2020 we all endured!
For couples who were already struggling, it was a perfect storm with an intense lockdown, health, job and money worries. However, the new year can be a time of opportunity, a chance to reset and take a new path.
So what are the options available to couples looking to separate?
First off, it is always worth obtaining specialist legal advice. A reputable family solicitor will outline the options, including whether counselling or mediation might be worth exploring first. However, if separation is inevitable, you may be reassured to know that, in most cases, you will never step inside a courtroom.
Most separations are resolved this way, with each spouse instructing a family solicitor. Negotiations then take place by an exchange of emails/letters until an overall agreement can be reached. At that point, a Separation Agreement is prepared and signed by each spouse.
Collaborative Law offers couples a more dignified and flexible approach, important where children are involved.
By signing up to the process, the two parties commit to resolving their dispute collaboratively and amicably through a series of structured, four-way meetings between the spouses and their solicitors. Routine tasks such as instructing valuations for property are shared, reducing duplication and minimising time and costs. The parties and their solicitors are also free to be more creative during their discussions and can tailor an outcome to suit their family.
Having qualified as a Collaborative Lawyer in 2011, Amanda can offer this service to her clients.
Mediation is a voluntary process where both parties work together, instructing one qualified solicitor-mediator to help reach an agreeable solution.
Another form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Arbitration is useful where there is a particular ‘sticking point’ in the negotiations. Perhaps the couple cannot agree on the care of the children, how much financial support should be paid or the value of an asset. Instead of going to Court, the qualified Arbitrator determines the issues, saving time and money.
Having qualified as a family law Arbitrator in 2020 and as a member of the Family Law Arbitration Scotland Group (FLAGS), Amanda is am currently the only qualified family law Arbitrator in Dundee and can guide you through the process.