In this personal article, Letters Administrator and LPC student Kerrie Atlee reflects on the importance of taking a constructive, non-adversarial approach in Family cases.
My journey into law began with a Divorce of my own. Those who are contemplating such a process or who have encountered it will be aware of the emotional struggles it can bring, particularly where the sensitive feelings and the well-being of children of that family are concerned.
I began a Law Degree later in life after my children started school. I have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of learning about the Law but especially that of Family Law. I believe it so important that people are able to access the best professional guidance at a time in their life which can be the most sensitive and emotionally challenging.
All professionals involved in a case should be working together to harmonise turbulent feelings to arrive at a peaceful and fair solution; one that will encourage the best future for the children of that family. This ideal is particularly pronounced where warring parties can forget that they must try and achieve the best course of action for what is in their children’s best interests before their own feelings of resentment or hurt take over, which too often sadly happens. This can be especially challenging when the difficult division of finances, the family home and assets are involved or negative/false allegations are made.
Being ethical is of great importance to me and this is why I am so proud and fortunate to be working for the caring and highly professional team here at Crane & Staples who are members of Resolution. Members of Resolution are committed to constructive, non-confrontational solutions to Family cases.
Sharon Montgomery, Partner and Family Lawyer at Crane and Staples, is a Resolution accredited specialist and she recently stated:
Solicitors with an aggressive approach merely increase costs for their clients without any overall benefit.
In my view, this will also have a detrimental effect on all those involved, making post separation/divorce relations hostile or even impossible to achieve. I am a bona fide witness myself to such a testimony. This of course goes against what the Family Justice System aims to encourage, which is helping separating/divorcing couples who need to be able to work together for their children going forward without the constant need of third parties’ involvement.
It is also hugely beneficial for children to witness their parents amicably co-parenting. It can show an excellent example to them that problem solving and overcoming difficulties can be achieved in a peaceful and fair fashion. Using an adversarial manner in my view is unnecessary and thoroughly unconstructive. Those who do so appear to be simply trying to show their client that they are forcefully attempting to help them get what they ‘want’ and giving into vindictive or selfish intentions rather than helping everyone involved get what they ‘need’. Such adversary can leave lifelong scars.
Family Law should not be about ‘winning’ and leaving a wake of hurt of misery – it should be about harmoniously helping couples on the ‘road to independent living’ (as quoted by Lady Hale) whilst putting the needs of their children as paramount. (The Children Act 1989 1 (1)).
All of the Family team at Crane & Staples are members of Resolution. Please contact the team on 01707 387074 if you would like to discuss your Family matter.
You can also visit Resolution’s website here.