Hello, and a warm welcome to 'Divorce Without Pain'. I am Stephen Twist, an English barrister, mediator and arbitrator living and working in the north of England.
Over the past 30 years, I have specialised in family disputes. Some involve expensive financial conflicts; others relate to how children will divide their time between separated parents.
Back in 1999, having just completed training as a CEDR facilitator, it occurred to me that there had to be a better and less expensive way of dealing with these type of disputes than having two solicitors fighting in court. A court battle was a blunt tool, with which parties knocked bits off each other, and the court process compounded the damage. If parties weren't at war before they started, they were certainly polarised by fighting the case.
So, this is why 'Divorce Without Pain' came about. We decided to set up a service to save wives, husbands, partners, mothers, fathers and grandparents from the worst aspects of the family law system. Our aim was to guide them carefully and jointly through a process designed to result in a separation agreement.
Well, does it work? Clients start the process saying "We can never agree on anything", and "he/she is so controlling and unreasonable that we really need a judge to decide" - only to find that through sensitive management, a workable settlement is achieved. The process also saves you the considerable expense of separate lawyers and the time and stress taken in fighting the case.
This is now what we are doing through 'Divorce Without Pain'. The Bar Council was keen for it to be developed. So here it is! In following blog entries I will describe how it works. If any reader would like to get in touch, do leave a comment below or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.