People going through a divorce express that it is extremely stressful to go through break ups, as they have to determine how to distribute monetary possessions like real estate, pensions etc. and matters concerning child and spouse maintenance.

Apart from child maintenance, there is no particular method to work out the splitting of property and money. The real objective is to simply stretch combined assets to include both parties’ in just and equitable way. The couple seeking divorce can divide assets among themselves but if they cannot reach to a solution amicably then the court will make a decision for them. This is called ancillary relief.

Make A List Of Joint Assets

Before negotiating, it is advisable that the couple sits down to make a list of all mutual assets and write down any financial issues that affect them, including estate, capital, child residence, individual earning capability, pensions, mortgage, debts and any other repayments that have to be made. Find areas of common ground so as to reach at a mutually agreed decision calmly. This will save you the expenses of hiring a solicitor. Each partner should be cooperative.

Generally, when a matrimonial alliance is over, the partners employ attorneys who conduct discussions on behalf of the spouses at an arm’s length. They either use letters or telephone calls. A divorce procedure can prolong for a lengthy period resulting in delay, frustration and bitterness.

Collaborative law

When both spouse appoint a divorce attorney, but rather than negotiating at a distance, they meet to work out matters face to face it is called collaborative law. The solicitors side by them through out the entire procedure, and both benefit from legal consultation and advice.


This is also a viable option. It allows you to discuss matters in a neutral and unbiased environment. It allows you to improve long-term relations and cooperation with your spouse, which is absolutely necessary when you have children. The third party with some special training and background in the scope of law and counseling determines the middle ground for both.

Mediation is private and confidential, and therefore it cannot be used for court hearings later on. The spouses’ have the control over deciding the outcome of an issue and not the mediator; his job is to voluntarily direct the session only. Mediation can be done at any time of the day. It does not mean reconciliation (bringing back the partners together) but only counseling so that they can negotiate matters.

Consent Orders

Supposing you reach a mutually agreeable solution after discussions and with your ex spouse, now your lawyer will want to plan a Consent Order which has to be presented to the court. A consent order is a document that is agreed upon by both parties considering the interests of both partners.


It is very important that any married couple seeking divorce should first try to amicably reach an agreement without having to consult a solicitor as it may save them the money and fatigue. But in case of difficulties, issues should be taken to a lawyer who can serve the purpose of an arbitrator and a counselor.

Jean McDonald is a highly qualified divorce solicitor currently retired. She is a known authority in the field of law and refers DJPSolicitors for all.