The BBC 1 drama, The Split has come to an end with series three having been announced as the final.
*Spoiler alert – if you’ve not watched the final series – come back to this blog after you’ve seen it! *
This drama is centred around the Defoe family. Mother and two of the three sisters are divorce lawyers based in central London. They come face-to-face with their past after their estranged father returns to the fold - a very gripping and insightful BBC production; not always accurate in depicting how family lawyers function and service their clients but this is forgiven as it is not a documentary but a drama first and foremost and they have licence to be more creative and dramatic!
As much as the romantics in us wanted to see a reconciliation between the lead characters, Hannah (big sister who is a divorce lawyer) and Nathan (her husband), the title speaks volumes – it’s about ‘The Split’ and therefore there was never going to be a reunion of the pair.
It was a heart-breaking story covering many sensitive topics with lots of tears, outbursts and tantrums but thankfully, after the trials and tribulations, and much contemplation and reflection on both their parts, Hannah and Nathan agreed to split amicably and compassionately – serving the greater good of all the family including themselves.
The three-part series takes us through all the emotions, fears, concerns, reactions and personal crisis that one faces when going through a separation and/or divorce – regardless of who is at fault; with or without blame, divorce is a very painful and agonising process for the toughest and well acquainted in family law amongst us. I speak from personal experience – read my story here. I too, like Hannah practice what I preach to my clients and had an amicable divorce and separation.
I urge all separating couples to keep in control of the outcomes impacting on them and their families – to stay out of court and legal battles unless it’s absolutely necessary to secure a fair settlement/arrangement.
If there is some degree of trust and faith in each other to ‘play fair’ and no underlying significant concerns regarding domestic abuse or the safety and welfare of any dependent children that makes its unsafe or unsuitable to mediate, mediation and other dispute resolution options must be the first port of call.
As a non-practising family lawyer with over 27 years’ experience in this area of law and a divorcee myself, I now focus solely on supporting separating and divorcing couples to have kinder, compassionate, amicable divorces.
The final episode of The Split, showcases in the end what a good, amicable divorce looks like. It was befitting and in line with what I strive for, for all my clients that I support in my capacity as an accredited family mediator/third party neutral.
If it transpires at the initial separate assessment meetings/MIAMs that the parties wish to effect a reconciliation, I sign post them to other professionals that can best support and aid with effecting a reconciliation like divorce counsellors and/or psychotherapists. Please click here for my useful resources page that has links to such professionals and other tools and resources to support you through your divorce journey.
If the marriage is at an end or as Hannah puts it, ‘broken for good’ and ‘can’t be fixed’, I provide a safe and supported virtual space via Zoom for the separating and/or divorcing couple to agree an agenda to work through at their own pace to reach their own informed decisions on all or some of the issues arising out of their separation/divorce.
I support couples in conflict to deal with the usual legal issues about child and financial rights and responsibilities e.g., what should the child arrangements be after they physically separate, should there be a shared-care arrangement in place or should one parent be the primary/main carer with the other parent spending quality time on a regular basis with the child/ren, what should happen to the family home? what about financial support to meet income and capital needs after the split? what about pension rights on divorce?
I also assist with soft topics and non-legal issues that quite often are more important to the parties to reach agreement on like - boundary setting, how to communicate better with one another and agreeing ground rules to help them function better as separated parents to effectively co-parent their child/ren.
Mediation aids better communication ensuring that each party gets ‘airtime’ to be heard and understood. Once there is a better understanding of the other’s perspective by putting oneself in their shoes, this often leads to sensible, pragmatic dialogue with resolutions that are fair to both parties (and child-centred if they have child/ren) with the backdrop of the law applicable always in mind.
A holistic approach to separation and divorce is needed to ensure that the divorcing and/or separating couple secures the tools, resources and professional help that they need to deal with all areas impacted – not just legal rights and responsibilities but more importantly, in my view, their mind, body, spirit and soul to thrive after separation and divorce and not just survive.
As Hannah said, ‘divorce is not a failure’ – staying in an unhappy marriage is a failure and tragedy.
Walking away and starting a new life is nothing to do with weakness and everything to do with inner strength and self-worth.
My mission is to help as many separating and divorcing couples as I can to remain in control and out of court – to reach their own informed decisions – serving them, their children and future generations. Supporting them to lead happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives post separation and divorce.
If you are curious about how mediation can help support you and your family through separation and/or divorce, you may wish to consider our FAQs page and/or book in a Free Discovery Call via our services page.
We will then get in touch with your ex-partner (unless requested to hold-off at this stage) to encourage them to engage in the process highlighting the benefits of family mediation - low cost, staying in control and to have a quicker resolution compared to court based proceedings.