Family law and the art of waiting. If you’ve not been through a divorce or legal separation, you may not see an obvious connection between these phrases, nor will they likely be in your mind if you’re thinking about initiating a divorce. The truth of it however, is that the traditional, adversarial approach to family law and the art of waiting are inextricably linked. In fact, if you are of a mind to approach your divorce by instructing the biggest, meanest lawyer you can find to defend your idea of what you feel is right and fair before a judge, you’ll soon find yourself getting far more practice in the art of waiting than you ever could have imagined!
The legal system is slow. There is no other way to say it than to just call it what it is: Slow. After months of waiting for your first day in court – yes, your first, you can be sure you’ll next find yourself waiting a good couple of months for your second appearance (and even then it will not necessarily your last!). Most people are surprised to find out that nothing really happens in terms of a judge or magistrate making a decision at their first appearance in a courtroom. Yes, for those who decide to fight the big fight hold their ground in the name of their own sense of justice, there is a lot more waiting to come!
It is not in the least uncommon for divorce battles to last two or three years for those couples who’ve chosen to dive all the way into the legal rabbit hole of attending hearing after hearing while they wait for some officer of the court to finally tell them how things are going to be. Now to be fair, for those who manage to stick it out all the way to the end will eventually see a judge or magistrate make a decision about their matter. It must be pointed out though, that no matter how strongly each party to such disputes believes in their own position, there is absolutely no guarantee that the judge’s decision will look anything like they want it to – and this is true regardless how firmly one believes they are in the right or the efforts of their legal representatives.
Fortunately, Cambridge Family Dispute Resolution Group (CFDRG) offers an alternative for those who don’t have the physical, mental or financial stamina to go the distance, or who just want a better way. CFDRG members are family law professionals who can assist you through the processes of Collaborative Law, Arbitration or Mediation. These dispute resolution processes are designed for those who don’t want to wait month after month of stress and worry, paying all of those legal costs only to find they’ve lost control over their financial settlement solution and parenting plans in the way that those who go to a final hearing ultimately end up doing.
CFDRG is a collection of solicitors who, wherever possible, utilise these alternatives over the more traditional adversarial divorce to assist separating couples create sensible financial settlement solutions and workable co-parenting plans for their children in a fraction of the time than it takes to get to a final hearing. And often at considerable savings too.
If you are contemplating a divorce, and you want to avoid months of legal wrangling whilst also remaining in control of your own future plans, contact one of our solicitors here on the CFDRG website and ask about how a collaborative approach can spare you a crash course in the art of waiting.