Case example 2

Sarah and Tom met at university in Manchester and got married a few years later. They moved to Oxford for Sarah’s job and had three children.

After being married for 15 years they decided to separate. The children were aged 12, 14 and 16. Tom and Sarah had seen several of their friends and colleagues get divorced and wanted to avoid the emotional and financial cost of engaging lawyers and going to court. They decided that it would be best for the children if they shared their time between them after the separation. They recognised the importance of working together and showing the children they could resolve their issues amicably.

Separate well with one lawyer was an attractive option to them as the process would allow them to work together with one lawyer who was committed to helping them reach an agreement without going to court. Both Sarah and Tom had researched divorce online and spoken with friends but were finding it difficult to consolidate all this information and understand how it fitted their circumstances.

The legal advice provided them with a helpful and directive analysis of the likely outcomes. Having discussed their situation with their lawyer they decided to allow Tom to buy Sarah out of the family home. They agreed that this would provide the best outcome for the children moving forward, as they would remain living in their home. Sarah then received a larger share of the investment assets and bought a new house locally.

Sarah and Tom both attended family therapy during the process to help them work on the transition from husband and wife to co-parents. They also both attended individual sessions with their own therapists who supported them emotionally through the process.

At the end of the process Tom and Sarah both reflected on how the separate well with one lawyer process had allowed them to combine the expertise of their joint family lawyer, with their own knowledge of what was best for their family and their children, to find the best outcome.

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