A group of family lawyers and collaborative professionals from across the region has released a flock of white doves in Millennium Square, Leeds, to mark the launch of a not-for-profit organisation to keep divorce proceedings amicable and out of court.
The public event marked Dovetail Divorce’s new website, www.dovetaildivorce.com, and the start of Family Dispute Resolution Week, 23 –27 November, which promotes alternative methods to litigation for separating couples such as mediation, arbitration, negotiation, collaborative law and conciliation.
Dovetail is made up of groups of collaborative lawyers, mediators, arbitrators, financial advisers, relationship coaches and counsellors, in Leeds, Sheffield, Wakefield, Bradford, Doncaster and Harrogate, with all contributing to its costs. They help couples wishing to end a marriage or civil partnership to explore the various alternatives to court and decide which suits them best.
The aim is to establish a ‘pod’ of family resolution professionals working as a team in every Yorkshire town. Each pod will help couples part amicably after negotiating fair agreements on sharing their assets and child care and access – and help cope with the emotional fallout of a split.
Dovetail co-founder, IFA Robert Cresswell, said: “Avoiding courtroom litigation is almost always a cheaper, quicker, far less frightening and emotionally traumatic route. It is also more flexible, with a much better prospect of a thoroughly fair outcome for both parties that sees those involved arriving at settlement – not a stranger imposing one.”
hlw Keeble Hawson family lawyer and chair of South Yorkshire Resolution, Vanessa Fox, said: “Working towards a solution together is a much better way than ‘going to war’ as keeping things calm and respectful allows you to focus on the future, which is vital for wellbeing and if children are involved.
“Each partner still has legal advisors and other professionals working to ensure their best interests, but they are also told, quite frankly, what a realistic expectation is based on their circumstances, so they can understand what a reasonable settlement will be.”