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What Will I Get in the Divorce

What will I get in the divorce?

Apparently, this is the most googled question by those thinking about divorcing or separating. To answer this question the first thing that came to my mind is the song by The Rolling Stones, ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’. Bear with me.  The important part of the song is the chorus;

‘No, you can't always get what you want,

You can't always get what you want,

You can't always get what you want,

But if you try sometime, you'll find

You get what you need’

In all the cases I’ve ever been involved with (for over 20 years) my clients get a financial settlement that they need. Often, they get what they want too. 

Family/divorce law focusses on what each person needs in the short term, medium and long term.  We spend most of our time thinking about how to meet your needs for accommodation, savings (and other capital), income and pension provision.  We see the divorcing couple as a unit that might need to help each other out for the short, medium or long term.  Of course, a clean break (no further claims for income - spousal or civil partner maintenance) is the ideal both legally and in other ways; but sometimes it’s just not possible if we are to meet needs.

Getting married or forming a civil partnership means that you have rights and responsibilities that continue even after death. So, we need to deal with everything and consider all the options to make sure we meet everyone’s needs.  

Another song springs to mind, ‘It Ain’t What You Do, it’s The Way That You Do It’ by Fun Boy Three and Bananarama.  Here’s the first refrain:

‘… It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it’

It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it’

It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it’

And that's what gets results…’

How you get divorced is just as important as what you’ll get. Why?  Because how things are dealt with will dictate the future relationship you have with your ex and your children.  Instructing a solicitor to write formal (often rude and aggressive) letters is the absolutely worst way to move forward. I don’t offer such a letter writing service. This is because such letters usually end up polarising you or causing a dispute where there wasn’t one.  And they are really expensive. Not just financially (letter writing is very costly) but also emotionally; impacting you, your ex and on your children, if you have them.  See a further exploration of this in my blog https://www.osullivanfamilylaw.com/site/blog/osullivan-blog/just-say-no-to-legal-letters

My entire focus is to avoid court. I’m so passionate about it that I wrote a book called, ‘(Almost) Anything But Family Court’.  https://www.osullivanfamilylaw.com/site/insights/the-book/  It’s been lauded by other practitioners and the President of the Family Division – all my clients get a copy as part of my fixed fee first appointment offer.  As there are lots of ways to avoid court, I will help you work out what’s best for you and your family.  That’s my job.  

When we work together in mediation or One Solicitor: Onc Couple or any of the others ways of doing things it’s really important that you do some contemplation.  To that end I send you a workbook for you to reflect upon and work out what you hope and fear. Divorce and separation are life altering events so it’s worth spending a bit of time considering what your core values are. These values are fundamental and really help you and us focus on what’s important to you.  You’ll also ask yourself; how will you/do you make decisions, how do you process information, how do you express yourself, when things go wrong how will you communicate?  There’s so much for you to think about and communicate with me so I can best help. The workbook gives you an overview of financial settlement and the things to think about if you need to consider how you’ll look after your children in a post separation epoch.  The workbook does so much more, so do read more about it and see the video at https://www.osullivanfamilylaw.com/site/insights/the-workbook/

Between the book, the workbook and me you’ll have a great understanding of what you’ll get in a divorce.