Yes Dear: Ways to soft land your separation

National Reconciliation Day (2 April) yesterday reminds us of the importance of reconciling our differences, particularly for couples. We’ve all resorted to the fool proof “yes dear”, which promised to be the secret to a strong relationship in years gone by.

Whilst it is true that in any relationship there has to be give and take and a fair measure of tolerance in order to get through the ups and downs of living with someone, in some cases things turn sour. Acrimony, jealousy and uncertainty can beset couples causing considerable cost in both financial and emotional terms – and in our line of work we quite often see the fall out. We also see how couples can be at war with children caught in the cross fire.

It does, however remain possible, even when a relationship breaks up for couples to reconcile their differences and the following are a few things you might want to bear in mind to help “soft land” your separation.

  1. Start with the issues and points you can both agree – I am not talking about “yes dear” here, I mean genuine, open and honest discussion to find out where your common ground may be. You might be surprised how much you have in common despite your differences.
  2. Treat each other with transparency and respect. The end game is to walk away having achieved your goals from the separation, if you start to introduce bad feeling it could prevent any future co-operation from the other party.
  3. Could you benefit from mediation? Sometimes, enlisting the help of a neutral third party can help to bridge any communication gaps. Mediators are specially trained for this purpose, but you could also use a trusted friend.
  4. Compromise, compromise, compromise. Set expectations and decide what you are prepared to live without. Costs and/or recompense might be a big area for compromise, so weigh up your options. For example, is it really worth spending £20,000 to gain £10,000?
  5. Be responsible – and adult! Try and get things into perspective and stick to your main aims for an overall outcome. Avoid bickering either verbally or through email as it achieves nothing. Plus it can end up being expensive if it is all conducted through lawyers.

In any relationship break up it is possible to reconcile differences, usually with the help of a mediator and/or a lawyer who is committed to the Resolution Code of Conduct. This aims to take the angst out of separation and to guide parties towards a positive outcome.

At Downs Solicitors all our lawyers are committed to this code and a less combative approach to achieve positive outcomes, unless the circumstances otherwise dictate a more aggressive approach.

So even if your partner is driving you mad, spare a thought for two words, “yes dear”.

To see if we can help you or if you require further information please contact Richard Middlehurst or a member of our Family Team.