No doubt you have heard the saying “If I had a pound for every time someone asked me then I’d be rich”. Well, this really does apply to me. When most people when I speak to or meet them for the first time find out I am a divorce solicitor, pretty much ask the same questions. Really I should prepare a frequently asked questions information sheet (something else to add to my ever increasing to do list). My favourite question however is “How many divorce cases do you win?”. A barrister once said to me after a particularly arduous day in court which resulted in a settlement “If both parties end up unhappy then that is pretty much the right result”. I thought about this a lot after he said it and he was right. Let me explain.
There are really only 2 alternatives if there is a dispute over your finances on a divorce – settle or let the court decide. Settling invariably involves compromise on both sides. Letting the court decide means the decision is taken out of your hands. Litigation is always a risk and an expensive one at that. A with all divorce cases not even the best solicitor can guarantee the outcome. Whichever alternative you choose the likelihood is you will feel that you have given something away but so will the other party. You both therefore feel unhappy, if relieved, it is all over.
My job as your family lawyer is to assess both of these alternatives, advise you of the risk and potential cost associated with each and the likely outcome so that you can make the decision which path you want to take. Almost always my advice would be to try and reach a compromise. Whether this be by direct negotiation with the other party or through solicitors or by other means such as mediation or arbitration, the costs will be reduced to each of you, the case will take less time to resolve and you will retain control of the outcome even if it is not quite what you wanted to achieve at the outset. Of course, not every client takes my advice that settling is the best option and sometimes court proceedings are necessary and unavoidable. Even if my client takes my advice, there is no guarantee that his or her spouse will act reasonably.
So, my answer to the question – there are generally no winners and no losers in divorce but with good advice and guidance from your lawyer, and if you take a realistic approach, you can avoid expensive and lengthy court proceedings.
If you need advice on any issue surrounding your divorce or breakdown of your relationship, call me, Karen Weiner on 01923 521003 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org