Lewis Hulatt, South East Consultant with Major Family Law, the leading divorce and family law specialists, comments as follows:
It may sound an odd thing to mention, but I went blackberry-picking on Bank Holiday Monday. I hadn’t done that since I was a kid, but having spotted the potential harvest of blackberries just out of reach, I armed myself with a stick and put a plastic box in a backpack. Because we were going to pick some berries later on, we were more observant and noticed that they were much more prevalent than we had previously thought. As we yomped the bulk of the usual route to get the cardiovascular system out of normal mode, I was thinking about how what we do as family lawyers affects more than the person for whom we act.
That ‘systemic’ thinking – recognising that legal advice, assistance and representation goes beyond the client – is part of the Resolution philosophy. If we encourage aggression and the neglect of the needs and wishes of the other party, then we are not doing what we know to be best: the ‘best interests’ of our clients go beyond the immediate, so if getting an extra 5% of the assets causes years of bad-feeling and hostility spilling over onto the relationship with the children, was it a ‘better’ deal than one that was mathematically less? The family relationships go on many years longer that a solicitor’s retainer.
By the time that I had reflected on whether to blog about resentment this week, we arrived at a lush patch of brambles near a railway cutting. Many of the easy-to-reach berries had gone, but there was a goodly amount of ripe fruit still to be taken and being willing to get a bit scratched and a bit stung by the guardian nettles, we got a tub of blackberries to take home. Even being prepared by having the stick could only reduce, not obliterate, the risk of nettles and thorns.
Sometimes it takes a bit of pain to obtain something satisfying – the minor discomfort of those scratches and stings were forgotten well before we had eaten the dessert I prepared.
Resolving the issues of separation and divorce can be like that – often concessions that somebody feels are a little unfair can hasten a settlement which in the big-picture, is reasonable. Sometimes to get better things, we need to endure unhappiness for a while.
At Major Family Law, we know life continues after we have left the scene.