Joint approach by Kent law firms to quicker divorce
Couples can now divorce
in just eight weeks
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
Two law firms have come together to help couples divorce
within eight weeks.
Boys and Maughan and Whitehead Monckton used "collaboration" to
develop the emerging legal process.
For many who want to divorce, the path to a new single life is
usually lengthy, costly and damaging, especially for children.
Using collaborative divorce lawyers keeps costs under control
and can minimise the impact of divorce on children.
It also encourages clients to keep talking to each other and
manage how they feel. The lawyers have specialist skills to
negotiate quick, cost-effective yet meaningful agreements and avoid
the misunderstandings and delays of the traditional divorce
It means that:
- Clients control what is discussed and when.
- Different situations can be managed by bringing specialists to
meetings. If a business needs valuing, an accountant can be brought
along, or a psychotherapist if the couple need to work through
their emotions or an independent financial adviser if a pension
needs looking at.
- There is a concentration upon managing the separation so any
children are supported through any changes.
This avoids an adversarial court process, which can decimate
families with cost, suspicion and blame. The process focuses upon
where clients want to be in the future – attending their children's
weddings together rather than hating each other.
Daniel Bennett, of Whitehead Monckton, Tenterden, and Jonathan
da Costa of Boys and Maughan, Margate, are at the forefront of this
They helped a couple with two children to divorce and agree
financial matters within eight weeks, enabling them to move to
separate properties but still spend Christmas together as a
Mr da Costa said: "The collaborative family law process puts the
welfare of children at the centre of focus and allows clients to
have much more say in how they want to deal with their separation
Mr Bennett said: "This process requires a fresh approach to how
the process can work and the individuals have to learn to trust
each other again.
"However, for most separating couples, it offers more
flexibility and control for clients and their wider family than
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