Is It a Myth?
If you are thinking of divorcing it is vital to get specialist advice when making important decisions, especially with regards to the children, advises Judith Wright of Forbes solicitors
Most people will be aware from the newspapers, reporting every January, that there is now apparently a ‘Divorce Day’. This is usually on or around 7th or 8th January every year when the press reports that there will be a spike in solicitors receiving enquiries from couples who are unhappy in their marriage.
Sometimes the stress of trying to have the perfect Christmas, financial constraints or having relatives to stay, when perhaps there are already some cracks in the relationship, can often put added pressure on couples which results in more people making enquiries in relation to commencing divorce proceedings.
Support service, Amicable, reported in January 2019 that more than 40,500 people will type in an online search for ‘divorce’ in January which is nearly 25 per cent higher than at any other time of the year.
The relationship charity Relate, also reports that they receive peak calls in January as often disagreements, arguments and stresses come to a head. I have also found over the years that New Year’s resolutions play a part, as of course, do office Christmas parties!
When contemplating separation or divorce, one of the main considerations for couples with children is how the separation will affect the children which is why couples often wait until after Christmas to formally separate.
It is important to try to reduce the impact of divorce and separation on the children, and agreeing arrangements is one of the main decisions to make.
Consideration needs to be given as to where the children shall live, and how much time they spend with each parent.
Whatever the reasons for the divorce it is important that parents put the children first and consider their lives post-divorce too. If an agreement is not reached, a solicitor can guide parents through the process, with practical legal advice. If an agreement cannot be reached, the parents can try to resolve their differences through mediation. If mediation doesn’t work, then an application to court will be made, although there are some exceptions to this.
There will also be important decisions to be made regarding finances, housing and any business interests. Taking advice from a solicitor early in the process will help individuals know what their entitlement to the assets is likely to be. It is possible to reach an amicable agreement without having to go to court, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. If an agreement cannot be reached, again differences can try to be resolved through mediation, but ultimately an application to court needs to be made if no agreement is reached.
A key issue for some couples is who will live in the matrimonial home, and where the other party will live. Questions such as, ‘can I keep the house’, are often at the forefront of people’s minds. There may be other assets, pensions or inheritance monies to consider too.
Whatever the circumstances, separating and divorcing can be a stressful and difficult time for the family. Taking legal advice early and being guided through the process will ensure you receive a fair outcome and help to reduce the impact on any children.
For more information please contact Judith Wright, specialist solicitor, call 01772 220022 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org