January 24, 2020 4:31 pm Published by

It is natural that where a marriage has broken down, there is usually at least one party feeling angry, sad, disappointed, or a mixture of all of those things.  It is therefore easy for a divorce to become a forum for airing those feelings and for parties to lose sight of what matters.  It might help to bear in mind the following pitfalls and ways to avoid them:

  1. Not using a family lawyer. Sometimes lawyers are approached by clients some way down the line of divorce because they were told by their spouse, family members or friends that they did not really need legal advice.  Most people find they have to resort to getting legal advice when the case has already been running and there are entrenched positions which could have been avoided had a family lawyer been instructed from the start.
  2. Using the wrong lawyer. Someone who is combative and ruthless does not necessarily achieve effectiveness and does not guarantee your spouse/partner will be intimidated and concede.  Also, such an approach will be costly and damaging and cause relationships to break down further.  Members of Resolution follow a Code of Practice that promotes a constructive approach to family issues and considers the needs of the whole family.
  3. Listening to your ex-spouse’s advice. Your spouse/partner may have been your confidante and the person you went to with your concerns.  However, you have to recognise that your spouse may not (and often, cannot) have your best interests at heart any longer.  More often than not, your best interests will be in direct contrast to his/her best interests.
  4. Listening to bad advice from other people. Your friends may know the general principles of family law, or know somebody who has recently divorced, but their advice is no substitute for professional legal advice which is accurate, up-to-date and tailored to your situation.  Family members may also have a certain opinion of your spouse which clouds your judgement (whether that opinion be good or bad).
  5. Using children as pawns in the game. Children are inevitably affected by their parents’ separation, but the impact on them can be minimised.  Spouses may try to limit contact the children have with the other parent to “punish” that parent.  Use a specialist family lawyer to fix these issues, not your children.

John Simpson is a collaborative family lawyer and a Resolution Accredited Specialist in Children Law and Complex Financial Remedies; he can advise on all aspects of separation, divorce, finances and children’s issues.  He is contactable on 01473 230033 or by e-mail:

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This post was written by John Simpson