This week is Good Divorce Week (a campaign launched by Resolution today). Many would argue that there is no such thing as a 'good divorce', which is a fair comment, but many of us strongly believe there are better ways to get divorced and that is what Good Divorce Week is all about. Its purpose is not to direct couples in difficulty towards divorce itself, but to give information and guidance to separating couples about their options and how to deal with, what is frequently a complex and emotionally harrowing issue, in the best way possible. A Better Way.
Good Divorce Week comes just after the publication of the 'What about me?' Reframing Support for Families following Parental Separation report by the Family Solutions Group (a subgroup of the Private Law Working Group) which calls for a sea-change in the way that family disputes, including divorce, are approached and handled. Amongst its core recommendations are enhanced training for mediators and solicitors to enable them to support separating couples and to promote an integrated approach to problem-solving by involving other professionals such as therapists. As a mediator this resonates with me, but even more so, because of the new service which we created this this year called the Withers Separation Model, which was created to be help couples to navigate through separation and divorce in a way that minimises conflict and focuses on the solutions for the benefit of the entire family.
Choosing a family solicitor committed to following a non-confrontational and constructive approach to resolving family issues (whilst keeping the best interests of any children involved at the heart of the whole process) is key to achieving a 'good divorce' and this is the approach adopted by solicitors who are members of Resolution, such approach being a core principle in the Resolution's Code of Practice.
As a team we have many committee members of Resolution and I'm a board member so it's very rewarding for us to be part of the changing landscape of how families are helped through separation. The change is here and we have great opportunities to make a big positive difference to those going through tough family times. The good news, is that we don't have to wait for changes in the law to make a difference. The challenge is making sure that separating couples know what, where and how: what options they have; where they can find out about them; and how they really can achieve a 'good' divorce.
Listen to Claire and Diana Parker on our podcast with Mariella Frostrup.