January is reportedly a busy time for divorce lawyers with the media suggesting the first Monday of the new year being ‘divorce day’. The argument follows that the stresses of a family Christmas are the final trigger for a separation.
There is perhaps an element of truth in the ‘divorce day’ suggestions, but whatever time of year a relationship fails and the decision is taken to separate, it will likely be a stressful time. Whilst it might be all but impossible to remove entirely the stresses that surround separation, made harder when children are involved, it is possible to separate amicably.
Separation and divorce do not need to be messy. Here are a few New Year’s tips on how you can make separation a little less messy.
Take advice early
Friends will likely be all too ready to offer support and advice, but nothing beats taking expert advice from a family solicitor early. It is important that you understand your rights and the processes that need to be followed, remembering that every separation will be different.
Family law will also work towards the best interests of any children from your relationship. Whilst the needs and wants of parents will of course be considered, if they act counter to what is considered best for your children then difficulties may arise. Look to agree child arrangements directly rather than through solicitors.
Think before you act
It is easy for emotions to rule actions in separation proceedings. A hasty reply can all too easily escalate, making it hard for you or your former partner to back down. Take your time to consider replying to voice messages or emails. It is also a good idea to keep away from social media and avoid posting comments about your former partner.
Divorce in most cases does not result in court cases. In fact, they should be avoided and used only as a last resort as they will add considerable delay and costs. Mediation is an effective way to reach agreement on post-separation finances and child arrangements. Mediation sessions will involve a qualified mediator, but it is often helpful to have a solicitor advising in the background.
Remember that in 2022 the divorce laws changed meaning it is no longer necessary to point the finger of blame in divorce. It introduced the ability to make a joint application for divorce enabling a more cooperative approach.
Separation and divorce will be stressful and emotionally challenging, but it need not be messy. An amicable divorce will be speedier, less costly and will allow both parties to move forward with their lives.
Contact our Family and Divorce Teams
The above is accurate as at 02 January 2024. The information above may be subject to change.
The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.