“What does the future look like for me?”

It’s inevitable that divorce will feel like the end of something, but the way you divorce can help you see a way forward and feel instead that you are approaching the start of something new.

It can be hard to see, when wounds are still raw and everything feels uncertain, but looking ahead to the future can help you make better decisions in the here and now.

Collaborative law starts from the point of ‘where do you want to be in the future’. This instantly sets the process apart from traditional court action, where the starting point is making orders to meet immediate needs – chiefly putting a roof over your head and the heads of your children.

The collaborative process helps you reach a point where you can accept that dwelling on the past is nowhere near as productive as looking to the future. Yes, you each need somewhere to live now and, if you have children, their needs are paramount. But what do you want the rest of your - and your children’s – lives to look like, and what steps can you take now to make that happen?

As well as helping you resolve issues that are important here and now, the collaborative approach encourages you to look ahead and discuss, for example, how you can both constructively be part of key moments in your children’s lives. From agreeing to sit together at their first nativity play or Sunday league football match to the kind of environment you’d like for their graduation or wedding, the collaborative process encourages you make agreements now that will help you create the future you want for them.

Getting together around a table and discussing future life events is something that traditional court action is simply not geared up to accommodate. In collaborative law, it is fundamental. Those four-way meetings, where you each have your lawyer at your side - along with financial, pension and family professionals if required - to provide advice along the way, give you the opportunity to talk about what’s important to you now, and also what will be important to you in the years ahead.

It doesn’t always feel like it, but thinking ahead and making these agreements now will pay huge dividends in five, ten, twenty or thirty years’ time, helping you create a positive future for yourselves and your family.

Brighter Future members are professionally trained collaborative lawyers and family professionals based across the North of England. Many of them offer a free initial discussion to help you look at your options and decide on the best way forward for you. For more information about collaborative law, or to find someone to speak to in your local area, click here.
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