The Divorce Lawyer’s Diary

The most wonderful time of year? Elspeth Kinder, from JMW, explains how you can navigate your way through divorce – one of life’s most challenging experiences

Christmas and New Year really are rather special – a time when we put that little bit more effort into the small things. Lights adorn buildings and decorations are carefully placed as we try to brighten dark nights and dreary weather (something we’re sadly all too familiar with here).

It’s a time when we spend more time with our loved ones, often making special efforts to get home to our nearest and dearest, taking time out of hectic lives and schedules to slow down for a day or two and enjoy the company of our families.

Yet – as much as we delight in the festive season, as Head of Family Law at JMW Solicitors, I know that the holidays can be a very difficult time, too.

For some the thought of Christmas or New Year was accompanied by dread, rather than joy, knowing they were expected to put aside sometimes fundamental differences with their partner to make sure that the big day didn’t disappoint. They will have done everything they could to ensure this was one last, good Christmas or New Year’s Eve before they change their families’ lives for good.

While it is a joyous time, for those who are unhappy in their marriage, it’s also an emotionally charged time that can, at times, feel incredibly lonely.

There were also those that faced their first year alone – some will certainly have been looking forward to the holidays with glee, having navigated a very challenging period in their life and come out the other side, while others will have felt trepidation about their ‘new’ arrangements.

Some parents will have had their first year without their children, agreed with their partner to ‘keep the peace’. They may wish they had arranged something more formal to ensure that they wouldn’t have had to spend New Year’s Eve alone.

Not only have I lived these experiences, I deal with them every day as a family lawyer.

One of the main reasons that people don’t reach out sooner is because they want to avoid conflict and find the idea of dealing with lots of different people daunting.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

JMW is a full-service law firm, so we have all the legal expertise you need under one roof. We are also supported by trusted experts, including leading therapists and top financial minds. Our network of support and our close-knit, experienced team means that there aren’t the usual delays in getting external advice because we can take care of everything for you.

Divorce is undoubtedly one of life’s most challenging experiences – we will do everything we can to remove the pressure and guide our clients carefully through the process. We’re not motivated by stoking flames of anger. Instead, I want my clients to walk away from a divorce with an arrangement that the whole family is happy and can live with. Divorce can be amenable, and in my opinion, that is the marker of a ‘successful’ divorce, particularly where children are involved.

So, this New Year, don’t shoulder your feelings in silence – seek advice from a solicitor who will support you to carve the life you want and ensure that, next Christmas, you’ll approach the festive season feeling happy and positive.



Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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