I’ve had several meetings with Family Lawyers in the last few days, planning a series of free presentations for single mums here in the UK (with some to follow in New York this coming December, all being well) and there’s one thing that I think you should know. Lawyers have changed! What has most struck me is the sensitive and perceptive approach that these women have towards their clients. Many of them do Pro Bono work – i.e. volunteer their time and expertise for free in dedicated schemes and projects within their local communities. Despite all those lawyer/attorney jokes out there you have nothing to fear because you can easily find a local firm to represent you in your divorce and to handle your case in a kind, patient and sympathetic way. As Gemma Hope, one of the legal experts featured in my book explains:
if you have a trusted legal adviser you feel at ease with, they will be there for you every step of the way. They can play a big part in helping to sort out issues involving the care of your children, your home and your finances. A good lawyer who specialises in Family Law will be empathic and highly trained in dealing with emotive and complex family situations and will be able to explain things to you in a way you understand. Contrary to popular belief lawyers aren’t all posh, stuffy, fat cats who will make life more difficult for you. There are some lawyers out there, like me, who are down to earth and want to help people through a difficult time in their life in the most positive way possible. Often the first reaction I get from people when I tell them what I do for a living is “That must be a really depressing job dealing with doom, gloom and misery all day” but I don’t see it like that. It is actually really rewarding to be able to help and support people through a huge transition in their life and see them move forward.
Gemma is based in Brighton in the U.K. and can be contacted at Mayo Wynne Baxter 01273 223230
Another option that many separating couples choose these days is family mediation. Dawn Tarter, another of the legal experts who contributed to the book, explains it like this:
The mediator is an impartial facilitator for both parties, balancing the power between the parties, helping them to identify and develop mutually acceptable options. The mediator guides both parties to privately communicate and negotiate with each other for the outcome they want. Mediation is, in my opinion, the most empowering, satisfying and cost efficient means of maintaining your voice and your control over the outcome of raising your children and successfully moving forward with your life. The advantage is that mediation is quick, often reaching resolution within hours, and you are in control… with mediation you move forward with your life, the life you truly desire, so much more quickly and with the satisfaction that you determined your own outcome for you and your children.
Dawn is based in Cuba, Illinois, U.S.A. and can be contacted at at http://www.dawntarterlaw.com or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE – How To Pick Up The Pieces and Build a Happy New Life” is available to order on Amazon.