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Divorce Day 2022

View profile for Susan Davies
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Divorce Day 2022?

The first working Monday in January is often nick-named ‘Divorce Day’ by the press. This is on the basis that high numbers of couples seek advice about ending their marriage at the start of January, following the Christmas and New Year period.

In reality law firms often receive a higher than usual number of enquiries on this day because most have been closed over the festive period.

In my experience, clients don’t suddenly decide to get divorced because it’s the first Monday of a new year. There is usually a long process leading up to this point. Sometimes the festive season with the pressure and expectation of happy family time, can serve to confirm that a relationship is beyond repair. Couples spend a lot of time together during this period, and coming on top of months of enforced togetherness due to the pandemic and home -working it may deliver the final impetus needed to bring the relationship to an end.

Taking the step to speak to a family lawyer often comes at the end of much soul-searching and turmoil, particularly if children are involved.

Here is some practical advice you may find helpful: 

• Instruct a specialist family law lawyer for advice, preferably one who is also a member of Resolution. This means they will follow a code of practice that includes dealing with matters in a cost-effective way. You need to understand what your legal rights and obligations are and what will be the best way to conduct matters for you and your family. You may a have a solicitor who you trust and regard as the ‘Family’ solicitor perhaps because they have done family probates in the past. This doesn’t mean they are the right person to advice on your divorce; that would be like getting an orthopaedic specialist to treat your earache! Lawyers specialise and you need one who specialises in divorce!

• Consider trying to keep the dispute out of court. Alternatives to court such as mediation and the collaborative process can be cost-effective and less emotionally draining.

• Start gathering relevant information together so that you have your facts straight and your lawyer can give realistic advice. There can be a lot of information and documentation to gather together. If you can be as organised as possible in getting the information and presenting it in a way which is clear to understand this will help save costs.

• If you are concerned about cost, be careful about the way you communicate with your lawyer.  Rather than lots of short emails and phone calls with quick queries, it may be more cost-effective to send one longer email setting out all the questions for your lawyer to answer.

• Be clear and transparent. Both parties have a duty to fully disclose fully their financial positions.

• Think of the big picture – it is not necessary to argue every point! Sometimes it can cost more in fees to contest a minor legal point than the benefit gained in doing so. 

• Emotional support is important - divorce can be stressful and sometimes it is difficult to think clearly. It can be helpful to have a trusted friend or even a counsellor to provide you with emotional support throughout the process.

If you are ready to take the next step, contact our team on 01827 317078 or email sdavies@pickerings-solicitors.com.