Divorce lawyers predict greater cost-consciousness for couples splitting in the year ahead

London law firm Manches has highlighted the effect of the credit crunch and the attractiveness of alternative divorce proceedings as important considerations for married couples separating in the New Year.

With rising redundancies and falling house prices continuing to make the headlines, divorce lawyers at the City firm have suggested that people may consider more cost-effective alternatives to the traditional adversarial approach or even reconsider divorce altogether.

Manches’ divorce lawyer, James Stewart, refer in particular to “the bad example” of the McCartney-Mills split as a motivation for couples to pursue the more private and less contentious means of reaching settlement. He emphasises the potential of the collaborative approach in particular, pointing out that one in four family English lawyers are now qualified to use such an approach.

“Family lawyers have an obligation to advise clients of the assistance which is available to those of them who may wish to explore the possibility of a reconciliation. They also have an obligation to advise clients that there are potential, often child-centred, alternatives to litigation in the form of mediation and collaborative law,” Stewart says.

The existence of such cost considerations is supported by a recent survey conducted by TakeLegalAdvice.com suggesting that the credit crunch is having an effect on one in every four British relationships.

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