09/12/2013 09:17 GMT | Updated 06/02/2014 05:59 GMT

Must We Use Lawyers to Take Control of the Divorce Process? Divorce Myth 5 - Busted!


I don't understand the process so I need a lawyer

to take control of the process for me

It is quite normal to be fearful of the divorce process, because it often involves legal expertise, financial knowledge and it is easy to assume that a divorce lawyer will be able to take that load off your shoulders and sort it all out for you.  Searching for online divorce advice - especially if you focus on how to divorce amicably - will reap rewards, but many feel that they must put a lawyer in charge of the process as a whole.  But is this truly the case? 


True or False?



I don't understand the process so I need a lawyer to take control of the process for me” - True or False?


As the creator of the Alternative Guide to Divorce, I am of course going to say that lawyers are not all that they are cracked up to be - but the truth is, they can be worth their weight in gold - but you need to be careful that you talk to a lawyer who is aligned with what you really want as an end result.

So if what you really want is for your kids to not be traumatised by their parents having an angry divorce battle that rages for years, then choosing to involve family lawyers who are trained in mediation or the collaborative process, to advice you at key points during the divorce journey, makes sense, as they are going to be more likely to help you to steer a non-adversarial route.  

You are in charge of your own divorce


But it is you who is getting divorced - not the lawyers. You are in charge of your divorce, and only you know what are the right decisions you need to make. Which is why getting a clear overview of the process from a wellbeing and financial and parenting perspective is so important.

Every divorce is different, and only you can hold the bigger picture as a vision of what you want to achieve, and it is you who needs to take responsibility for getting the right support at the right time. Stay-out-of-court divorce resources like Divorce in a Box provide free access to a UK-wide range of experts. Making good use of the free introductory sessions with all those experts in the UK, and the Experts on the US Web Directory - offering clarity on how to stay out of court, and how to open your heart and mind to successful CoParenting - this kind of support makes taking responsibility for your divorce less scary.

Very few people I meet begin a divorce process wanting to cause emotional and financial damage to themselves and their family, and it is finding the right information, from the right people, and access to the many free resources available from charities and resource websites, that allows you to find the right path. Plus saving you money and stress in the process.  

So do I need a lawyer or can I go-it alone?


Yes there is definitely a role for lawyers in the divorce process, but preferably focus on mediation or collaborative law because the objective is to keep you out of court. Even if you are doing a DIY divorce, you may need to use a mediator to help resolve a child access issue, or a wellbeing or parenting expert.

You may want to resolve complex financial projections with the help of a financial planner. Experts in coaching or counselling/psychotherapy can help you to find the emotional and psychological strength and vision that makes non-adversarial divorce seem the only sensible route through a challenging life change.  If you need help dealing with your Ex - then a relationship coach can teach you how to communicate without driving each other into a rage. 

Make sure you interview everyone you want to work with - don't spend less time choosing an expert in law or wellbeing than you would spend choosing a plumber!


Create your own travel guide through divorce


By talking to a range of experts, you will gain clarity on how your divorce needs to proceed, and be able to plan a healthy co-parenting future for yourself and your family as a whole. So my advice is, to gather the key information that will give you the choices that lead away from court, rather than towards it. For more information on how to avoid adversarial divorce, and to access free resources to help you, please visit the Alternative Divorce Guide.