Unmarried but in need of legal help and don’t know where to go?

Posted by Simon Burge on
These days there are all sorts of ways of achieving a civilised divorce but what options exist for the growing number of couples who simply live together, or unmarried parents who do not share a home?

To whom can they turn for expert advice that won’t result in them becoming embroiled in long drawn-out and often acrimonious legal proceedings?

Dispute resolution is the best alternatives available for couples who wish to resolve the issues surrounding their divorce constructively and with the aim of minimising the stress and strain on their children, and wider family.

However, what is less well known is the fact that the same specially trained and accredited mediation, arbitration and collaborative professionals can also work with couples and parents who are not married.

So what makes the dispute resolution approach so special? The essence of it is the realisation that focusing on the pain and unhappiness of the past is not going to create a healthy foundation for the future. Arguing over the blame is just that; an argument that is likely to go on and on.

Dispute resolution helps couples draw a line under past, emotional problems so that they can focus their energy on sorting out the most important issue; their futures. Being able to find closure and to move on with a sense of dignity and respect is vital.

Rather than being caught in the middle of warring parents, the needs of any children become the focal point. Parents see the benefit to their children of being able to maintain a sensible working relationship and understanding each other's feelings. The distress and potential long term harm to children can be minimised.

Be under no illusion, dispute resolution is not a 'soft' option, nor does it mean that everything is simply split 50:50. Facing emotional, practical and financial issues head on, and listening to, and finding common ground with, your 'ex' is never going to be easy.

Dispute resolution experts will work with the couple towards drawing together all the issues and with their expertise focused on helping to achieve a binding settlement for the future.

About the Author

Simon is a Partner in our Family Law team in our Southampton office. Simon is an experienced family law practitioner specialising in high net value family cases.

Simon Burge
Email Simon
023 8085 7088

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