Happy Divorce Day! Family law

January generally gets a bad rap – festivities are over; resolutions are either broken or becoming a real struggle; the weather is gloomy, damp and chilly. The jewel in the crown is “divorce day” – the first working day back after Christmas when divorce lawyers expect to field more enquiries from individuals considering splitting up from their partners than any other day of the year. Apparently more than 40,500 people will search “divorce” online in January, which is nearly 25% higher than at any other time of the year.

It is not all doom and gloom however – the rate of divorce is declining with the latest divorce figures, released last year, revealing a 45 year low. Even more uplifting are the accounts of people who find they are significantly happier once divorced than they were when married. It seems that once matters between unhappy couples have been sorted out, life often gets much better. This is no doubt refreshing news to anyone who is considering starting the new year embarking on divorce, but the reality comes with the familiar caveat “happiness is a journey not a destination” – and the journey through the process of divorce is usually an emotional and financial minefield which needs to be navigated with care, skill and expertise. Read on for tips on how to survive divorce and thrive thereafter.

The best place to start is with the best guide – pick a family solicitor who can relate to you and the unique needs of you and your family, including any children. A good solicitor knows how to support you when you need to stand firm and when you need to let something go.

Mediation should always be considered when appropriate – it may provide an opportunity to resolve matters flexibly and quickly and couples may find a solution easier to accept and put into practice when they have reached it together.

If mediation is not suitable you can resolve matters via solicitors negotiating on your behalf. Your solicitor can be depended on to act in your best interests and it is important to trust their skill and expertise, even if they are giving you advice that you do not want to hear.

Avoid the temptation to engage in mud-slinging. The current system is fault based and the only route to an immediate divorce is adultery or unreasonable behaviour and so parties are vulnerable to falling into the trap of finger-pointing, but it is not helpful in terms of the moving forward legally or emotionally. This is particularly important when there are children who need to be able to have a healthy and happy relationship with both parents.

Be honest, stick to the facts and consider what position you want to be in 5 – 10 years time. That means having perspective and being straight forward with your solicitor. This will reduce acrimony and may help to avoid a heavily litigated contest – which inevitably drains the pot of matrimonial assets.

Getting divorced is a big step and you will need the support of a range of people – from friends and family to professionals such as therapists and lawyers. The team at Thursfields are familiar with the varied needs of individuals. We have the expertise and experience to guide clients through the maze of family breakdown so that they emerge with their dignity intact, finances secure and able to look forward to a brighter future.

If you need any advice on divorce or other family matters please contact Lucy Mackintosh on 01905 677057 or email lmackintosh@thusrfields.co.uk

Thursfields award winning Family law solicitors are available at any of our offices and surrounding areas –Birmingham, Worcester, Kidderminster, Solihull, and Halesowen.

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