Authored By Catherine Sousa
Each divorce is unique, there is no question about that. Each divorce will involve different circumstances, resulting in different issues arising. Taking action in the early stages without clear advice from independent professionals can result in added hostility, unnecessary legal fees and financial loss – all of which divorcing couples usually wish to avoid.
Each divorce will involve different emotional, financial and legal issues; the essential 3 elements of every divorce where advice is required. Before now most options available to divorcing couples involve accessing support in these 3 areas separately often resulting in disjointed, costly and sometimes conflicting advice.
A proactive group of collaborative family professionals in the Southampton area, known as Hampshire Family Legal Services (HFLS – www.hfls.co.uk) are now offering a different option for divorcing couples. The intake process is based on an initial fixed fee meeting for the couple where lawyers, a financial advisor and a family consultant will all be present so the couple have access to all 3 key areas from the outset at an affordable cost. After the intake meeting a clear proposal letter agreed by all professionals detailing the best way of resolving matters for the couple, prioritising any children, will be detailed in writing.
I am privileged to have been involved in the creation of HFLS and to have been involved in the majority of cases. Every case that has started with an intake meeting so far has settled by agreement and in the best and most cost effective way for the families involved.