Good divorce advice

Laura Martin, Head of Family Law at award-winning Dorset law firm Blanchards Bailey, is urging separating families to work together amicably for the good of their families
Laura Martin, Head of Family Law at award-winning Dorset law firm Blanchards Bailey, is urging separating families to work together amicably for the good of their families

A Dorset solicitor helping to spearhead the national Good Divorce Week campaign is urging separating couples to think constructively, avoid conflict and consider the needs of the whole family.

Laura Martin, Solicitor and Head of Family Law at award-winning law firm Blanchards Bailey LLP made the plea in her role as a prominent member of Resolution, the UK-wide organisation behind the annual initiative Good Divorce Week.

Laura, who has 16 years’ experience in dealing with family matters, said that while it might seem a misnomer to have a ‘good divorce’, couples do have a choice as to how they approach any separation or divorce and they can choose to deal with matters as amicably as possible.

She said: “I believe that when a couple separate, the process of sorting out the finances and arranging childcare should be done in a way that minimises conflict and keeps the best interests of any children involved at the heart of the discussions – that is a ‘good divorce’.”  

“There is no easy answer but the more two people can discuss matters the less chance there will be for conflict and nasty surprises.  

“It is important to seek specialist legal advice early on so that you can fully understand your legal rights, options and practical and constructive solutions.”

“We strive to achieve the best for our clients and their family and aim to minimise unnecessary conflict, but we will act robustly in dealing with difficult issues or opposing views or when emergency work is needed to protect clients.”  

Resolution is a community of more than 6,500 family justice professionals who subscribe to a code of practice to support people going through separation and divorce in a way that minimises conflict, promotes a constructive approach to family issues and considers the needs of the whole family.  

Julie Keogh, who joined Blanchards Bailey earlier this year, is a vastly experienced Family Law Executive and expert in matters concerning children and is also supporting the campaign.

She said: “The relationship between a client and their solicitor is one of the utmost trust and I am committed to helping clients through one of the most difficult times in their life.”

Blanchards Bailey, whose head office is in Blandford, is also one of a small number of firms which has subscribed to a new way of dealing with divorces online, which enables divorce to be dealt with smoothly and without delay.  

Laura said the online divorce is much quicker and works best where the couple are amicable and co-operating with each other.  

She added: “Ideally the actual process of the divorce should be dealt with as efficiently as possible and the online divorce allows us to do this.  Proper focus can then be given to the arrangements regarding the children and the financial consequences of divorce.”

During Good Divorce Week, from 30 November to 4 December, Blanchards Bailey is offering a range of consultations including 30-minute free initial advice or up to 1 hour in depth fixed fee consultations.

The firm’s expert Family Law team provides trusted legal advice on all aspects of family law – from advice on starting a relationship, including cohabitation agreements and prenuptial agreements, to advice on ending a relationship including the arrangements regarding the children, separation, divorce and the financial consequences of separation and divorce.  

Specialist advice is available for clients whose business interests may be affected by separation and the team’s breadth of experience means it confidently deals with all complex financial matters including foreign assets, agricultural land, pensions and tax.

The team is adept at dealing with matters concerning children, whether that be where the children live, how often they see each parent, whether the children need to relocate due to separation or other matters such as making decisions regarding the children’s educational needs.

Eighty-strong Blanchards Bailey is a Legal 500 firm – making it one of the top firms in the South West – and has three further offices in Poundbury, Shaftesbury and Weymouth.

The firm received extensive recognition in the UK's leading law sector directory, the Legal 500. The annual publication, The Legal 500 2020/21, mentions the firm in six categories with seven individual lawyers recommended.

Blanchards Bailey also won a hat-trick of titles at the 2019 Dorset Legal Awards: Law Firm of the Year (up to 99 employees), Company Commercial Team of the Year and Private Client Team of the Year. The Family Law Team were finalists for Family Law Team of the Year in both 2018 and 2019.


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