We sign an agreement at the beginning of the process that says we will not end up in court. This commitment is fully understood by you and your partner as well as every member of our team. It means we concentrate on helping you find the solutions for your future so you do not end up in court.
English law and the Court system has a set of rigid rules and regulations into which families must fit for their cases to be resolved if they can’t resolve them themselves. In a typical divorce there is a Petitioner who brings the case and a Respondent. The Petitioner has to apportion blame for either unreasonable behaviour or adultery unless there is a period of separation of two years and consent or separation of five years. Straight away the battle lines are drawn.
Depending upon the complexity of the case and the amount of contention, there will be numerous meetings, much form filling, disclosures, and case building. Once the judge has reviewed the paperwork, it takes at least six weeks for a Decree Nisi to be issued. During this time applications for financial remedies can not be made. Then the negotiations around finances and children begin. There is a huge amount of paperwork and form filing. There are hearings overseen by a district judge to agree child provisions. Having completed Form A, Form E and Form H, there will be the formal FA meeting between all parties and a judge. Often both sides employ both solicitors and barristers. Then there is the Financial Dispute Resolution hearing at court and if there is still no settlement, a Financial Hearing by another judge. This process typically takes two years or more and the costs are eye-watering.
In a Painless Divorce there are no visits to court, no applications to or hearings by a judge. The Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute are filed by your solicitors so you don’t go to court. The process is much faster, much cheaper (despite having the very best legal and financial advice) and most importantly removes much of the contentious antagonism and bitter emotions that are an inevitability of traditional divorce.
Team Collaboration is where a group of different professionals (i.e. accountants, independent financial advisors, solicitors, psychologists) come together with the single aim of helping you through your divorce, without going to court. At Painless Divorce we are team collaboration specialists. We integrate our skills and knowledge so that you get instant access to the information you need as you decide on the terms of your divorce and plan your separate futures.
Mediators are trained to mediate, and their code of practice states that they are unable to give you advice. This is the case even if the mediator is a family solicitor. Consequently, if you go through the mediation process, both of you will still need to consult solicitors to get advice as to whether or not what you have agreed is in your best interest. If one of your solicitors is unhappy with what you have agreed, you risk having to start the process all over again. Unfortunately, this is often the case. Painless Divorce is more than mediation. You and your partner will each have your own solicitor in the meetings, so when you come up with your solutions, assisted by the Painless Divorce Facilitator, your solicitor will advise you there and then if the suggested way forwards is appropriate and in your best interests from a legal perspective.
A traditional collaborative divorce service is where two collaboratively trained family lawyers work with you in a co-operative way to help you reach decisions together. Unfortunately experience shows that a large percentage of traditional collaborative divorces break down and couples still end up in court. The reason for this is because the dispute resolution expertise needed to manage the inevitable flashpoints that come up when you are trying to agree the terms of your divorce are not available within a traditional collaborative divorce process. The difference with Painless Divorce is that our multi-disciplinary team is trained to work with each other to ensure you successfully negotiate the flashpoints. Painless Divorce offers you immediate financial, legal and emotional advice so you resolve your issues without incurring the additional financial, emotional and time costs of going to court. We are future focused, helping you build foundations for you new futures.
Unlike most divorce services we give you access to people with specialist training in child development issues. Children of different ages will require different types and amounts of information and we will help you through this. We also help you agree and test your first parenting plan as separated parents.
We have audio and video interviews of clients who have successfully completed a Painless Divorce. We can show you these at our first meeting. As you will appreciate, due to the confidential and private nature of divorce, it is against our ethics to forward details of our clients.
This is normal. The end of any relationship will include a breakdown of trust. We work in a way that is focused on looking for the things that you both agree on first and then tackling your differences.
No problem! We give you suggestions but it’s up to you to choose from our roster of trained professionals who you think will best suit your needs.
Our team is sensitive to the needs of both of you. With permission, we will invite your partner to have an informal, ‘no strings attached’ discussion with us so he or she can make an informed decision as to the benefits of a Painless Divorce.
This depends upon your personal circumstances but it will always be a shorter time frame than going through the courts. Typically a Painless Divorce takes between 5 to 12 months, depending upon your needs. Traditional divorce, which includes going to court, can take between 1 to 3 years.
The Painless Divorce collaborative team model of divorce has been used for a number of years in Australia and quite simply, past clients are delighted with it! After six years of only working this way, our Australian counterparts haven’t had a single divorcing couple end up in court. Painless Divorce Managing Director, Adriana Summers, trained in Australia and the Australians came to the UK to train the Painless Divorce team. Painless Divorce has successfully managed UK-based divorces with very positive outcomes. Ex-Painless Divorce clients will be offered on-going support as part of an elite members club to help them successfully move forwards post-divorce.
Typically a Painless Divorce costs less than half of a traditional divorce. You will be given the costs once we have fully assessed your requirements.
We accept that having four professionals supporting you through your divorce might seem to be an expensive solution. In fact it will save you money. Unlike in a traditional divorce, we don’t send out letters and we don’t charge for telephone calls. The process is shorter and you are in control of the timescale. None of our team will be chasing you if you’re not ready to move to the next stage. Most importantly, you won’t be going to court and you won’t be employing barristers. We quote you an up-front fee for each meeting and you will know exactly how much the obligatory legal documents will cost.
Research shows that it depends on the length and nature of conflict surrounding children as to how resilient and adaptable children are to divorce. It only takes 6 months of continual stress in a child’s life for their emotional development to be affected. Therefore, it is possible that your children may have experienced some level of tension in your home before you’ve reached your decision to divorce. Rather than risk a complicated relationship, we help you keep your parent child relationship together by giving you access to a specialist who will help you both to communicate and plan your children’s future.
Many people ask a friend or relative to help them find a family solicitor. However, what is good for one person is not necessarily good for the other, so it can be a bit like ‘the blind leading the blind’. Family solicitors are specialists in legal issues relating to processing and filing your divorce. They have some additional financial information but are not qualified to give advice in this area which is why Painless Divorce assess your financial position and your understanding of financial matters using trained financial specialists. We also understand that managing difficult discussions needs people with specific training in communication. You wouldn’t go to an IT specialist if you needed a GP! It is the same with issues around your children, so we provide you with child specialists to help you understand how you can best support your children through your divorce.
The process of divorcing separates your legal commitments to each other. Nowadays, most couples apply to have clean break divorces. There are a few circumstances where it is not in the best interests of your family for a totally clean break divorce. Every family’s circumstances are different and the solicitors helping you with your divorce will support you to make the best decision for you and your family.
The changes to financial services regulations means that it is important to get specialist financial advice when your financial circumstances are about to change. Right from the outset, we ensure you get the best financial information from one of our collaboratively trained independent financial advisors or forensic accountants. This means you will have accurate financial information to hand at the beginning of the separation process and will ensure you save money.
In addition, if you are not used to dealing with finances, time will be taken to help you understand budgets to give you the confidence to be able to control your daily finances.