In any event it gave me cause to think about the often painful process of divorce and how people must feel at the outset - the process can seem like a confusing minefield and people may feel at a loss where to start.
It doesn't have to be this way. Getting sound advice at the beginning of the process can help hugely and set both spouses on the path to an amicable resolution. Should you find yourself in need of advice following a separation a consultation with a family lawyer can provide you with a clear understanding of the principles that apply to the financial issues arising from separation. Any practitioner with family law expertise should be able to furnish you with a 'roadmap' to guide you through the process and to set out the practical steps you need to take.
Nor does the divorce process have to be confrontational. In this day and age it is possible to avail yourself of various services to help you and your spouse to reach agreement. Mediation is one such established process, where you can sit down with your spouse in the presence of a mediator at one or more sessions with a view to reaching an agreement. The mediator will be a trained specialist who will not make decisions for you but will help you have structured and focused discussions so that you and your spouse can reach an agreement on your own terms without being dictated to by a court.
There is also a process known as 'Collaborative Law' where spouses can hold a series of meetings with their respective lawyers present to provide advice at each stage of the discussions. As with mediation, the ethos behind Collaborative Law is to put the emphasis on reaching an amicable solution, and in particular to avoid resorting to court action.
In short, the divorce process is never easy but can be sensitively and sensibly managed, particularly if you obtain the right advice at the outset. As one of the largest family law teams in Scotland we have a wealth of experience to help you deal with each and every issue that may arise in your journey towards a resolution.
In the meantime, if statistics are to be believed, throw out the margarine and stick to the full fat butter!