By Angela Moores, Family Lawyer
It’s not easy to make any decision but particularly one as big as moving on from a relationship. Often I hear from clients that they have been thinking about leaving for some time but have been unable to make the decision. Here’s my advice on this …
Separation can be a complex matter particularly if there are children, property, business assets, pensions and disagreement involved. There are very specific legal obligations and responsibilities which relate to these matters and often there can be a lot of information to understand about each.
As separation almost always involves negotiation relating to all assets and liabilities it is not practical to consider each alone and I usually spend about an hour with a potential client to fully understand all of their details and provide some initial advice.
At the end of the initial meeting I am able to provide an indication as to how each asset would be treated in the event of a separation having taken the unique set of circumstances into account. This is the benefit of talking to someone like me with over 25 years experience of family law because a potential client needs to leave with a clear understanding and answers to all of their questions. A meeting with an inexperienced lawyer or one who is not a specialist in this area may not result in answers or the provision of all the relevant information which in turn will not enable an informed decision to be made.
After I have been able to consider the specifics of a potential client’s circumstances we are able to look together at the options for the future – in particular what would happen to the children, how much money would be available, what would happen to any business or property and what would the future look like? This enables a potential client to see a way forward and to have the confidence that there is the chance of a very positive future beyond the difficulty of a separation.
Once a potential client has a full understanding of their current position, their options and how a separation would work out, it can often be that the decision becomes easier, possibly obvious. Understanding the facts and identifying a route forward provides a focus and a clarity which would not have been possible without having spoken with me first.
Sometimes, having talked through the circumstances, the decision may be to do nothing immediately – and this is fine with me as not everyone I see is ready to take such a big step without some thought and planning. I see it as part of my work with a potential client to sometimes have to identify things which need to be done or sorted before it becomes the right time for them to move forward. This type of planning can often be invaluable in achieving the best outcome for a client and reducing the stress involved in the eventual separation – often we need to take action to protect assets or safeguard the potential client’s immediate position.
At Jarvis Family Law LLP we are able to offer the initial meeting to find out the facts necessary to make a decision free of charge.
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