With Monday the 8th January being dubbed as 'Divorce Day' it is set to be a busy time of year for lawyers. Lawyers have given it this name as trends show that they receive more enquiries on this day about divorce and separation because it is the first working Monday back after the Christmas Period.
Of course it does not necessarily follow that someone making an enquiry will go on to obtain a divorce but at the very least it shows that people want to have a greater understanding about their legal position before making a firm decision about their relationship.
Some couples find that spending the Christmas period with their partner is difficult and can sometimes be the breaking point in a relationship. Christmas is undoubtedly stressful. There are decorations to put up, presents to buy, Christmas lunch to prepare, family and friends to cater for, travel arrangements to organise, etc! All of this can cause conflict within a relationship especially where the relationship is already strained. One of the biggest factors is the additional financial burden that Christmas creates for families and money worries are one of the main causes of relationship breakdowns.
It is not uncommon for people to wait until January to seek advice. Many couples will try to make things work for the festive period especially if there are children involved as they want to ensure that they still have a great Christmas.
The 'January Blues' can also make things worse for people struggling in their relationship. The Christmas period is over, the bank balance has taken a hit, it is cold and dark outside and many will have to face the prospect of returning to work after an extended break.
However, for some people January can signify a new start and an opportunity to make a change for the future and sometimes this can include seeking a divorce.
People will often consult lawyers on a relationship breakdown because there are other things to consider such as sorting out the family finances and arrangements for children which can be complicated.
Alongside a divorce it is possible to look at resolving the family finances. Married couples have financial claims against one another until they are formally dealt with in a Court Order. It may be possible for a couple to reach an agreement between themselves as to what should happen with the finances but sometimes couples will need a third party to be involved such as a mediator or a solicitor.
Mediation can often be a cheaper alternative and this is where an independent mediator can attempt to facilitate an agreement between the parties. However, there are some circumstances where mediation is considered inappropriate. Once an agreement has been reached this can be formally recorded in a Consent Order and submitted to the Court for approval. As a last resort, parties can apply to the Court to make a decision but this can be very costly.
It is hoped that arrangements regarding the children can be agreed between the parents. However, if parents cannot agree, they can seek assistance from a mediator or a solicitor. Again as a last resort an application can be made to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order.
It's not all doom and gloom!
January can be a very difficult time for couples but it is not all doom and gloom! On the other side of the globe same sex couples are celebrating as Tuesday 9th January 2018 marks the first say where same sex couples can officially tie the knot in Australia. This comes after Parliament voted to change the Marriage Act in December after a national survey indicated support from 61% of voters. Two Australian athletes celebrated the changes by exchanging vows in a small ceremony just after midnight in New South Wales.
Divorce and separation can be a sensitive issues to deal with. Here at Clapham and Collinge our family law experts are Resolution lawyers and promote a constructive, non-confrontational approach to all family law matters. Our aim is to work out a solution that is right for you in your circumstances.
To find out more or discuss your individual requirements in further detail, our dedicated Family Law Solicitors will be delighted to help. Contact us today on 01603 693500 or email us using the 'Make an enquiry' form. Appointments available at our Norwich, North Walsham, and Sheringham offices.