A book offering advice to separating couples had its official Devon launch at an event hosted by The Family Law Company in Exeter.
The launch was attended by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Exeter Councillor Rachel Clare Lyons and Her Honour Judge Miranda Louise Robertshaw, The Designated Family Judge for Devon gave the headline speech.
Two Devon parents, Bob Grieg and Rebecca Giraud of parent-focused social enterprise OnlyMums and OnlyDads came up with the idea for 101 Questions Answered About Separating with Children after realising there was a need for a definitive reference book.
Over 10 years’ experience of supporting separating parents during family breakdown has been distilled into this accessible guidebook, which aims to save the reader hundreds of pounds by helping them understand key issues from the beginning, allowing them to maximise any time or money spent on legal advice.
The book, published with support and collaboration of Bath Publishing, has been written by a team of expert solicitors, barristers, mediators and other professionals: with many contributors also members of Resolution, the national family justice body which promotes a non-confrontational, child-focused approach. It covers the legal landscape, how to cope with the psychological impact of separation, what it means for children involved, and where to turn for further help and support.
Private children law expert Derek Jordan, divorce specialist Rachel Buckley and Managing Director Norman Hartnell from The Family Law Company were amongst the contributors. Norman Hartnell has been a supporter of OnlyMums and OnlyDads from the early days and is a long-term advocate of using a problem solving approach to family law.
101 Questions Answered develops three key themes which help parents resolve issues:
Improving relationship and communication skills with their ex-partner
Determining what is genuinely best for the children (often requiring external support)
Understanding the processes and mechanics of the law, family courts and different pathways to resolving issues, such as mediation, collaborative law and other approaches.
Director of OnlyDads, Bob Grieg, said: “When parents face relationship breakdown, they deal with much more than just the emotions involved and the communication difficulties with their ex and children.
“On top of this, they must also navigate a legal world that is new to them, which can often be complicated, long-winded and see costs spiralling out of control.”
Director of OnlyMums, Rebecca Giraud continued, “101 Questions Answered aims to clearly explain family law processes, answering the most common questions that separating parents with a degree of authority.
“Throughout the book, we also made sure to emphasise how parents can save money when using professional advisers.”
More than 80 Resolution members contributed to the guidance. National Chair of Resolution, Margaret Heathcote, commented:
“Resolution has a long history of supporting parents through OnlyMums and OnlyDads – especially by serving on their Family Law Panel, which provides free initial information and offers a reduced fees scheme for low-income parents. Contributing to the guidebook was a natural progression as, in light of recent cuts to legal aid, we see many more parents representing themselves during family proceedings. No matter how parents choose to resolve their issues, and there are many options to choose from depending on your situation, the most important thing is keeping the children’s best interests first.”
In his foreword to the book, President of the Family Division The Rt Hon Sir Andrew McFarlane said:
“Irrespective of the current pressing problem that may have caused a parent to pick this book up, any reader would be well advised to invest the time in reading it from cover to cover, thereby gaining a real ‘feel’ for the approach of family law professionals and the courts in general to these important and difficult problems.”
The book is available now directly from the publishers at www.bathpublishing.com, Amazon and all other online and high street booksellers.