Diana Jordan – Divorce Consultant
Back in the 1980s, when I was a newly qualified solicitor, a client came to me for a divorce. She told me that she and her husband were agreed about everything and asked if he could he come to me too.
It was with a heavy heart that I told her that our legal system would not permit that. I knew that as soon as he went to another solicitor the chances of them remaining agreed were extremely slim.
Time after time in my years as a solicitor, I witnessed the impact of our adversarial legal system on divorcing couples and their children – with the children bearing the brunt of the emotional cost.
Overcoming our adversarial legal system
As a member of the Law Society Children Panel, I witnessed our slow and costly adversarial legal system failing children: both the ones being taken into care, as well as those subject to residence and contact applications.
All this left me saddened and frustrated by the way in which the legal system let families down. I stopped working as a solicitor and trained as a life coach.
I now combine both skills, together with my understanding of personal and spiritual development. In this way I am able to provide legal information and to help my clients to manage the changes in their lives.
Working with both parties in a divorce
I’m delighted that I can see both husbands and wives, either separately or together. It is rewarding to be able to help them gain new perspectives – as well as to avoid the emotionally and financially ruinous pitfalls created by our legal system.
As a member of Resolution (www.resolution.org.uk) I am committed to their code of practice and to the ethics of coaching practice. Through my continual professional development I ensure I have a variety of tools and strategies, because not everyone needs to receive support in the same way.
I don’t work alone: I work closely with Family Counsellor, Gill Cashdan (see below).
In addition, I will also refer you to trusted mediators, counsellors, financial advisors, solicitors and direct access barristers.
Gill Cashdan – Family Counsellor
I now work as a Child and Family Counsellor, helping separating parents to do the best they can for their children. I work and play with their children too, offering them a safe and confidential place outside the family to express their feelings.
As a young Probation Officer in the early 1970’s I developed a special interest in ‘Divorce Court Welfare’ (now CAFCASS) and soon astonished my more cautious colleagues by inviting parents to come and see me together.
This was a revolutionary step at a time when it was assumed that having both parties in the room at the same time would only encourage their probably murderous intentions toward one another. But I had a strong conviction that if parents could only put aside their spousal grievances for a while and think about their children together, they would probably arrive at a reasonable set of arrangements. Even if not successful in every case, this method often had satisfactory results.
I trained at the first opportunity for the newly developing profession of Divorce Mediation. I worked for 29 years for a divorce mediation service and gradually added other specialist areas which included child, parent and family counselling.
I also worked as a Guardian ad Litem (representing children in care and adoption proceedings). I was particularly keen to give a voice to children whose world had imploded when their parents’ relationship broke down. As children often find it hard to put their feelings into words, I studied for a diploma in Art and Play Therapy.
I believe that the sooner separating parents seek unbiased, expert advice about how best to proceed, the more they will be able to minimise their children’s – and their own – hurt, confusion and sense of loss.