One size does not fit all

father and son on beachWe all know that we are all different and yet we are always faced with situations and circumstances that try and generalise and fit us all into the same box.  In divorce the court assumes a standard separation, a standard divorce, a certain way of dealing with children and money, but obviously everyone is different and there are peculiar circumstances that are unique to every family.  If a court system tries to deal with people’s needs as a process then inevitably all the various requirements of each member of the family cannot be met.

Collaborative law and Mediation are no panacea and cannot wave a magic wand, but this approach does try and address the particular needs of every separating couple and look at all the needs of their family.  There is always something unique, an elderly parent to care for, or a child that is having particular difficulties at school or a father that wants to work less and look after the children more.  The reason I am so passionate about collaboration and mediation is that it enables a unique approach to be taken, so we can focus on your particular situation, the unique set of circumstances that are pertinent to you and your family, whatever family means for you.

Family can mean same sex partnerships, adopted or step-children, grandparents.  One of the first cases I dealt with collaboratively was a couple both aged 67.  If the matter had gone to court then a normal solution would have been for the house to be sold and everything split 50/50, but the house had subsidence, so it couldn’t be sold, it had been the husband’s house for many years and meant a lot to him.  The wife had moved in with her new partner.   But during the course of the process it became clear that the wife was prepared to forgo her interest in the property and so received a lot less than she was theoretically entitled to, but she recognised the husband’s need to stay and the practical difficulties of selling a property with subsidence issues.

Sometimes one party will be convinced that the other is feeling a certain way, or more particularly not feeling anything at all.  When everyone sits round the table, the pain and discomfort and distress experienced by both parties is evident to both of them and they both realise that actually they are in this together and it makes sense to try and work it out together.

On other occasions there might be a disabled child which means that the parties are going to have to come up with a unique way of dealing with that child or the family home is also providing accommodation for an elderly parent.

At Cotswold Family Law we pride ourselves in taking the time and trouble to achieve a solution, or at least an outcome, that is best suited to your particular needs.

For more information or to discuss further please contact Nicky Gough on 07711 527968 or email

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