January will soon be behind us. And with it what now seems to be an annual fixture – ‘divorce day’. If you didn’t know, that’s the first working Monday after Christmas. According to some lawyers and many media outlets, it is when there is a notable spike in divorce enquiries.
This year, we’ve noticed some very justified criticism of the notion of a ‘divorce day’. The view being that something as momentous and life changing as family breakdown should not be reduced to a snappy media sound bite.
We think this criticism is well placed. In our experience individuals don’t rush to divorce in the immediate aftermath of the Christmas holidays. The decision to consult a family lawyer is usually only taken after careful consideration.
Of course there may be an increase in online searches for ‘divorce’ and related terms in the first weeks of January. But does that really translate into an actual increase in divorce? (As an aside, it’s worth noting that the Office of National Statistics revealed in 2018 that the divorce rate in England and Wales was at its lowest rate since 1972. In fact divorce among heterosexual couples is now 40% less likely than it was at its peak in 1993.)
Reviewing A Relationship: What Should I Do?
While you may not be ready to consider divorce, if you are beginning the New Year in a relationship that is faltering you may well take the opportunity to review your situation. And it certainly does no harm to look at what options might be available if your relationship does ultimately break down.
At Brookman in London we understand that taking that first step is difficult for many. When you have put in huge emotional energy to try and make a relationship succeed the admission that it may not be salvageable isn’t an easy one to make. But a frank discussion with a specialist family lawyer can help clarify the financial and legal issues in a way that helps you decide on the way forward.
Our Free Consultation
Brookman offers a free, no obligation consultation. It’s one way to address the issues around separation and divorce. The meeting can be in person or by phone. Once you have outlined your particular circumstances one of our solicitors can give initial advice or set your mind at rest in relation to the specific concerns you have. If appropriate we’ll give you a written summary of our advice.
Unlike some firms, we don’t put a strict time limit on these appointments. We recognise that every case is different. And the more complex your situation the more time we may need to deal with your initial concerns. You can request a consultation online or by phoning +44 (0)20 7430 8470.
Things To Consider Before Meeting A Family Lawyer
To get the most out of any meeting with a family solicitor make sure you have thought about what you want to discuss. The usual areas to focus on include:
- Children – If you have children they will be the central focus of any divorce. How will separation affect them? Have you thought about the practicalities of where they may live and what financial support they will need? These considerations shouldn’t stop you pursuing a divorce if it’s the right thing for you. But beginning to think about the long-term consequences of divorce for your children at these initial stages will make it easier to find a workable solution.
- Finance and property – Be ready to discuss what assets the family has and how you envisage these being divided in the event of divorce. We will be able to explain the different financial settlements available to divorcing couples and begin to think about what might be suitable for you
- Telling your spouse – If you haven’t discussed divorce with your spouse think about when this might be appropriate. It’s important to keep things as amicable as possible and broaching the subject in a sensitive, thoughtful way can help. You should always consider mediation as a way of resolving any disputes that arise. As members of Resolution we are committed to exploring non-confrontational ways of finalising your divorce before resorting to court proceedings.
It’s likely that you will have friends or family members who have been through divorce. Naturally they will want to support you and offer advice. But remember, the facts of your case will be different from theirs. In some cases the law and the approach of judges will have changed. So there is no substitute for specialist, up to date legal advice. Our free consultation is a useful way to get robust initial guidance tailored to your particular situation –whether you ask us to advise you further or not.