In the fourth of our daily blogs for Good Divorce Week this week, and as part of our ‘5 steps to a good divorce’, Katie Machin reviews the importance of communication in a separation…

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THURSDAY | Consider Communication

Decide at the outset what method of communication is going to be most effective to achieve the outcome sought in your case. There are circumstances where separating parties may both be comfortable in taking advice from their respective solicitors and then meeting to address matters between them directly. Alternatively, some parties may prefer to have those discussions in the presence of an impartial third party, such as a mediator, or with their solicitors present and/or conducting the meeting.

Conversely, there are circumstances where the relationship dynamic is such that one party or both parties do not feel it is in their interests to communicate directly with the other party at all for various reasons. In those circumstances, solicitor to solicitor communication may be necessary to ensure that the communication throughout the process is effective and progress is made. This itself should be explained clearly at the outset.

Social media also can be a hindrance to the divorce process. Parties should always refrain from posting about the other party or the process. Some posts can violate court rules. Generally, any negative social media posting does little to promote a good divorce. Find a private outlet. Remain outcomes focused; nobody wins a public ‘blame game’.

Consider and discuss with your legal representatives what issues are appropriate to be raised within the process of achieving financial settlement and resolving the child arrangements. At a time when feelings often run high, it can be tempting to ‘throw the kitchen sink’ at the other party in correspondence or court documents. It is not always necessary, appropriate or outcomes-focused to do so.

If you need to maintain continued direct communications with the other party throughout the process to discuss day to day children matters while resolving longer-term arrangements, then consider how best to achieve this. Applications like Our Family Wizard, promote constructive direct communication.

Click here to read one of Silk Family Law’s articles relating to the use of social media…