The first working Monday in January is supposed to be when more people seek a divorce than on any other day; apparently owing to people wanting a fresh start, spending too much time together over the Christmas or financial related issues being the last straw. It is often suggested that they have been contemplating divorce for many months previously and have held on over the festive period for the sake of any children and upset that it may cause.
The popular media will publish that Divorce Day is the day when family lawyers receive more new instructions than any other day of the year. Many Solicitors will disagree. It seems that there are more online divorce searches in January, but there are similar peaks each year in May and August.
In practice, each case is different, sometimes clients come at a very early stage, exploring their options before making a decision. For others seeing a solicitor is the last port of call, even after couples counselling. For some, separation and divorce is thrust upon them without warning due to the other party deciding the marriage is over.
Whatever the circumstances, Divorce Day can be any day of the year when a person decides that the marriage is over for them. Here are some tips for guidance:
1 Children First
If there are dependent children, think of them first. What are the child arrangements for them? Often parents concentrate on what is best for them but not for the children. How are children going to be financially supported? What are effects of the parent’s actions on the children? An acrimonious divorce or contested proceedings in Court may leave scars and have a damaging effect on them in the future. Alternate dispute resolutions such as Mediation or the Collaborative process may assist reach a quicker and a more amicable solution.
2 Seek advice
Get the best advice you can and follow it. Instruct a specialist family lawyer. If you cannot afford one to represent you through the process, get some initial advice. At least you will know where you stand legally, what your options are and know about the long term solutions.
3 Planning for the future
Before embarking on legal process of Divorce, it is important to think about what you want in the future. What are you hoping to achieve, what is the best possible outcome you can hope for realistically and financially with the resources available? What do you think is the most important for you and your family? Where are you going to live, how are you going to manage financially?
This is often difficult but depending on circumstances talking through issues directly can often save long term costs and maintain a civilised relationship for the sake of any children as parents still have to deal with each other.
For further advice regarding any family matter, call a member of our specialist team of Family Solicitors.