A new BBC legal drama, The Split, is the first of its kind to focus on the family legal profession and follows the Defoe family, two generations of female divorce lawyers. Although the series sensitively explored the emotional and practical realities of divorce and separation, to the dismay of many family lawyers, a number of legal inaccuracies were also portrayed. Every day this week, we will take a closer look at how each episode of The Split failed to address some common family law myths.
Starting with episode one, we learn that Hannah Stern has left the family firm for Noble and Hale. Hannah is referred to by the Senior Partner as ‘a lawyer who likes to settle’, but she is reminded that ‘litigation is where the money is’ so she must litigate. Whilst it is recognised that sometimes the court is best placed to impose a final and binding decision, the approach to litigate in divorce proceedings from the outset is outdated and one rarely encountered in practice. Mediation and collaborative law are increasingly recognised as ways in which to achieve a fair and cost effective outcome for both parties.
Our Family team understands the sensitive nature of family proceedings and the long term impact and challenges that can surround them. Here at BPE we aim to minimise conflict and help our clients work towards a constructive outcome. Please contact any member of the team to find out how we can help.
These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.