Whatever the circumstances, a divorce will undoubtedly have a lasting effect on those separating and any children involved. It is a breakup of the family unit, and often the process when taken through the court system can be a messy one, leaving feelings of bitterness.

A recent article in the Guardian by journalist David Dennis, describes how the divorce of his parents at the age of 11 has stayed with him his entire life and even into his own marriage as he has a deep seated fear of the pain he witnessed. Family breakdown, sadly, is not uncommon nowadays, but a separation doesn’t have to use the courtroom as a battleground.

When it comes to settling decisions over children, property or finances, law firms such as David Gray Solicitors LLP can offer couples a non-court alternative in the form of collaborative family law. With offices in Newcastle and South Shields they have one of the biggest and most dedicated family teams in the North East. They have expertise in finding the right solutions for you and your family.

Clients are encouraged to think of the whole family’s needs, and see communication as a positive step forward at a difficult and stressful time. With collaborative family law, each person is assigned a specially trained lawyer and discussions will take place around the table. An agreement that this will not end up in court will be signed at the start of the process, therefore encouraging an atmosphere of working together in a constructive manner. If one person changes their mind and wants to go to court, new lawyers have to be appointed. This helps to keep everyone focussed on reaching an agreement, and threatening phrases like ‘see you in Court’ lose all meaning.

Depending on the case, meetings are normally two to three hours long and issues can be resolved in two to four sessions, also making this a less time consuming and cheaper option than court. For more information on the family law services offered by David Gray Solicitors LLP, including family mediation and civil partnership dissolution, visit http://www.davidgray.co.uk.