Dealing with your partner in family matters

Divorce and separation can sometimes bring out the worst in people. Some consider that deception and lies are justified. You may need to rethink how you deal with the person you once loved (and who you may still love). 

The following guidelines are based upon the recommendations of the Good Practice Committee of Resolution:

·       If love has gone, try to substitute politeness.

·       Be sceptical. What is said may be intended to deceive you.

·       If in doubt, keep your cards close to your chest and guard your words.

·       Walk away from arguments or conflict.

·       Expect your spouse or partner to resent your lawyer and attempt to undermine his/her advice and your confidence in him/her.

·       Do not make agreements or sign anything without talking to your lawyer first.

·       Feel free to use your lawyer as a buffer by saying “Talk to your lawyer and have him/her talk to mine.”

·       Remember that the most important people at this time are your children, if you have any. Even though you may no longer live as a couple, you will still be father and mother

·       Do not talk about the separation or divorce in front of the children, unless you do so with your spouse or partner and the two of you agree what each of you will say.

·       Do not criticise your spouse or partner, or their new partner, to the children, whatever you may think. Let the children form their own views.

·       Do not be intimidated by your spouse or partner if an ultimatum or deadline is given to accept or reject an offer. Avoid negotiating with a gun to your head.