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by Graeme Fraser, Head of Family BBS Law
I am one of the early adopters of the One lawyer two clients model, which aims to provide a more efficient and cost-effective solution to the issues facing couples when they split up. Having been one of the first solicitors to train in Resolution Together, I want to share here my early reflections on this new way of working.
Firstly, I want to highlight that the introduction of no-fault divorce in April 2022 has paved the way for a wholly different approach towards the legal formalities of divorce that is a huge benefit for our clients. By removing blame from the process completely, the emphasis is now firmly fixed on resolving financial and children issues. A minimum reflective cooling off period of 6 months between the start of divorce proceedings and the obtaining of a conditional order allows couples to focus this time accordingly using out of court solutions.
Divorce is therefore evolving from what was previously a highly adversarial process to a much more transactional one in which couples can reach compromises without being in conflict, with the common ground frequently being a joint determination to act in the best interests of the children. I strongly believe that these changes have in turn therefore engendered a positive and enthusiastic demand from the public and uptake of these new services and those who have engaged us to date have provided feedback that indicate greater levels of satisfaction in terms of outcomes reached.
Secondly, the services that we can offer at BBS Law are not only fully compliant with the SRA regulations for Solicitors, but are grounded in good practice, ethics, and principles promoted by the Resolution Together Scheme. Resolution is a community of family justice professionals who work with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive way.
We arrange a number of checks at the beginning of our work, which we keep monitored throughout to ensure that we and our clients operate in a safe environment, and we will check that it is appropriate for each individual set of circumstances. A commitment by everyone to a shared openness, transparency and disclosure are key to ensuring that a solution can be reached without conflict or dispute.
The benefits for our clients are that there is a clear cost efficiency in paying for one lawyer rather than two. It is also much more likely to be quicker and more efficient than other ways of working to achieve an agreed outcome.
It is important, however, to appreciate that Resolution Together has been designed to operate as part of a range of other services including mediation, arbitration and collaborative law solutions, and we therefore keep under review which service will be appropriate for the couple at each stage of the negotiation so that the couple can be guided on the best pathway to finding a solution that works for them, their children and their family as a whole.
If you would like to find out more about our One Lawyer Two Clients Divorce Services, please get in contact with me.