It may not be easy but I've seen very tricky issues resolved using the methods I advocate...
I’m Jo O’Sullivan and I set up O’Sullivan Family Law because I am passionate about minimising the damage caused by separation and divorce. It is my experience that it is possible to have an 'acrimony-free' divorce. My aim is to create the possibility of a good divorce.
When couples break up they affect everyone around them; their children, their family, their friends and even their work colleagues. So for society as a whole I feel it is essential to part with dignity.
If you have children I put them first in my practice. This is not something that is usually done by family practitioners. This is because solicitors focus on what they feel they ‘can do’ rather than what they feel they 'can’t do'. Most solicitors therefore focus on the technicalities of divorce/dissolution of civil partnerships and the division of assets (as must I). However, for me it’s about so much more.
I’ve been so moved by the effect divorce has on children that I’ve been instrumental in providing support and training for parents in the throes of separation see ‘parenting after parting’.
I came to practice the law relatively late in life. I previously worked as a manager in a large organisation. This gave me excellent organisational skills. This makes me more approachable and practical than many solicitors. People tell me that I’m warm and have a sense of humour. Separating from someone you once loved (or still love) is never easy. I think one of my strengths’ is that I can see 'the wood from the trees' and I have confidence that problems can be resolved.
When I first qualified I thought that being a family solicitor was about ‘fighting it out’ in court. How wrong I was. The last thing that hard working people need is to spend their resources in this way. Litigation should be reserved for those taking (or defending themselves from) a completely unreasonable and unrealistic view of their settlement and what they deserve from it.
There are other much better options available. If you would like a bespoke solution to separation, divorce and civil partnership dissolution then there are other options that I offer.
I am regularly called upon to speak to Collaborative lawyers' groups around the UK. I speak at the 'Northern Lights' Conference in York for family law professionals in the North of England.
I also run training workshops for Resolution (the body of some 6,000 family lawyers and family law professionals).
Thus, I specialise in encouraging and training lawyers all across the UK to work Collaboratively for the good of their clients and society in general.
I have been appointed to The Law Society Family Law Committee for a period of 3 years ending in 2023.
I also helped to form Resolution's Equalities and Diversity and am its Co-Chair working towards ensuring that family law professionals are allies to the LGBTQ+ community; to increase Diversity in Resolution's membership and also to improve the experience of our clients who are BAME (sorry not the best term), disabled or with caring responsibilities.
I served as the Co-Vice Chair of the Resolution Dispute Resolution Committee.