Divorce day…

The first working day back in the office after Christmas is often dubbed as “divorce day” by family law solicitors. Many solicitors expect to receive a significant number of enquiries from those who are unhappy in their marriage.

But is it a myth?

In January 2020, searches for, “I want a divorce” rose by 230% in the first week of January 2020 compared to December 2019.

Christmas 2020 combined the usual festive stress, constant changing on plans due to COVID and uncertainty about the future. 2020 has thrown everything at couples,  financial fears, health concerns, worries over employment, home-schooling and the inability to access support from family and friends.  It has been a tough year.

Making the decision to speak to a family solicitor and get legal advice often comes at the end of much deliberation and turmoil.  People view it is a huge step. It tends not to be a spur of the moment decision (although I have had my fair share of clients who threaten Divorce at the drop of the hat) , but spending a significant amount of time together over Christmas often pushes some couples over the edge. January is often a time of reflection for people who feel like their marriage may not be working any longer.

When listening to new clients it still surprises me that the focus is on the “divorce”. This is quite simply a process which brings a marriage to a legal end. Solicitors will often encourage the client to focus on the bigger picture.

When a marriage breaks down there are a number of issues which run alongside each other. Issues relating to children and finances are often more important than a procedure to end your marriage. It is surprising how many clients when making the decision to bring their marriage to an end fail to contemplate these issues

When considering divorce I would concentrate on these issues first:

  • Can a shared care arrangement for the children work?
  • What is going to happen to the family home? Who is going to live there? Should it be sold?
  • What are your housing needs and those of the children?
  • Can you afford a mortgage?
  • How will any other assets of the marriage be divided?
  • Can you meet your outgoings each month?
  • Will you have to increase or decrease your working hours?
  • Will you have to share your pension?
  • Who will be responsible for any debts?

Of course, the above are just a few factors and the actual list is considerably more extensive!

Before rushing into a divorce it is always wise to think about the emotional impact. Counselling can be invaluable in not only saving a marriage but also allowing you to move forward in your life should the relation be over. It can provide a supportive, non-judgemental place for couples to identify and work on any problems.

January doesn’t have to be seen as the month of divorce it could also be seen as a month of new opportunities and new year that can lead to new hope. We all know that things will not get better quickly but we do know that challenges can bring couples closer.

If however, you have concluded that your relationship has broken down beyond repair, whether you are married, in a civil relationship or in a cohabiting relationship then it is important that you seek legal advice to ensure you understand what your legal rights are and the best way to achieve and early resolution that’s right for you and your family.

If you have any questions about the above topics, please contact Joe Bartlett on joe.bartlett@keebles.com or call 0114 252 1435

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