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September 2013 - Summer holiday hothouse? What to do if your relationships breaks down

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by Rob Parker, solicitor specialising in family law and collaborative law

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‘If the summer holidays were the last straw in an already shaky relationship and you intend to separate or divorce, there is a way of minimising the hurt, bitterness and anger that goes with it’ says Rob Parker, solicitor at Phillips specialising in collaborative law. ‘It’s one of the best ways to reach solutions together and gives you both the chance to build a brighter future, without going to Court.

Traditionally, when couples split, they each take independent legal advice from their own lawyers and try to reach agreement on how best to settle their differences, typically through a ping-pong of letters and phone calls. Where this is not possible, it is left to the family Courts to decide, which can often lead to heartache, delay and uncertainty – not to mention spiralling legal costs.

Collaborative law is a refreshing alternative way of sorting things out, aiming to keep couples out of Court and making the route to divorce quicker, cheaper and more amicable. This is how it works: in the process you and your former partner, each represented by your own specially trained lawyer, agree in writing to reach a settlement out of Court in a series of four-way, face-to-face meetings. Having your own lawyer by your side to represent your interests can be really important, especially if one party should feel intimidated by the other. It works because it’s non-confrontational and you will be dealing with highly competent, trained lawyers who are sympathetic, approachable and will understand what you are going through.

Members of the North Hants Collaborative Lawyers Group are based in Basingstoke, Winchester, Andover and the surrounding area. Call me and I will be happy to explain how it works and advise you on divorce, separation, financial arrangements, children and other issues connected with relationship breakdown.

So before fighting it out in an expensive, exhausting Court arena,’ concludes Rob ‘talk to one of the lawyers listed below about this alternative that really works. By sitting down together, couples stay in control of their own futures, instead of leaving decisions to be imposed by a judge in a Courtroom. You’ll be able to protect your interests, move forward and minimise the antagonism between you, resulting in a better future for you and any children.’