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Separation - What are your options?

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Deciding to separate or divorce is one of the hardest decisions to make, but the process itself does not have to be difficult.

Once you have decided to separate the first step should be finding the right solicitor for you and for the outcome you are aiming to achieve

Just because you are separating or divorce does not necessarily mean that you have to prepare yourself for conflict. At Johnson Astills we strive to deal with matters amicably as much as we can, although if matters do eventually end up in court  we take a fair and robust approach to achieve the best possible outcome.

We often encourage people to attend Mediation to come to an agreement between themselves, whether that be to decide the division of assets or what arrangements are best for the children. We can then assist by giving legal advice as to any agreement reached and ensuring that the agreement is legally binding. This week has been National Mediation Week and this has received a lot of positive  publicity. Mediation is extremely helpful to help maintain  lines of communication when you and your former partner are dealing with the tough questions you need to face when you separate. Staying on amicable terms  helps the family to resolve issues that arise along the way, even long after the involvement of Solicitors has come to an end

At Johnson Astills we also promote the Collaboration Process as an amicable way of coming to an agreement and our Emma Mitchell, who is the Head of the Family department , is Collaboratively trained. The Collaborative Process is similar to mediation where agreement is reached through negotiations during a round table meeting. The difference is that your solicitors are present to advise you on the spot. If you want to know more about this process, please do not hesitate to contact me at for more information. 

It is also possible to reach agreement with your family law solicitor negotiating and corresponding on your behalf. . We ensure that you are fully advised throughout the process and will always strive to achieve  the best outcome for you and your family. Solicitor led negotiations can be quite effective if matters are largely amicable, but you are struggling to move past the tougher issues, such as what should happen to the family home.

At Johnson Astills we are pleased to offer an initial fixed fee consultation for anyone that is looking for assistance or guidance following their separation. During this appointment we will fully discuss your aims moving forwards, along with any concerns and queries you may have. We can then advise you regarding the next steps in the process so you know what to expect in the months to come and answer any questions you have to ensure that you are fully informed when making your decision on how to proceed. This appointment is followed up by a letter of advice to confirm what discussions took place, as we believe it is important that you have something to refer to when considering your matter. The cost of this is £200 plus VAT. Whilst you may wish to receive free legal advice, we believe a free half an hour does not allow anyone to fully consider a matter and advise in a great level of detail.  If you would like to speak to someone about your options or book in for an initial consultation, please do contact us on 0116 255 4855 or email to and we would be happy to assist you.