The holidays can be a difficult time if you’re going through relationship struggles. January often heralds a spike in divorce enquiries as tensions rise over the Christmas period and the new year provokes an urge for change.
Whatever your situation, if you’re moving towards the idea of separation and eager for a new start in 2018 then it’s time to speak to a solicitor about your options.
Before you make any serious decisions, it’s important to look at your situation and, if possible, have a frank discussion with your partner about the best way to move forward. Separation needn’t be fraught with animosity or overly complicated if you’re able to work collaboratively on reaching a solution together. Obviously this isn’t always possible, and it can be difficult to keep your emotions separate from the divorce process, but there are a few ways to help things run smoothly and with as little stress as possible.
First, consider your options. One of you will need to petition for divorce, and there are various different grounds for divorce to choose from, including adultery, unreasonable behaviour, two years separation (with consent), and five years separation (without consent). It’s important to decide on the most appropriate grounds for divorce for your situation, as choosing the wrong option may end up complicating your case.
If you have children, it’s vital to put their well-being at the centre of all your decisions, and choosing an out-of-court method of separation such as collaborative family law or mediation is an excellent and effective way to reduce both the cost and the duration of the process. Working together to create a practical co-parenting plan for the future will also help to reduce potential conflict later on.
When it comes to assets and liabilities, start putting together a comprehensive list of everything that might be included in a financial settlement, including property, pensions, debts, bank accounts and investments. Keep your paperwork in order and inform your solicitor about any shared accounts as soon as possible to get advice on how to protect your finances should your partner decide to try to minimise or hide assets.
There is no excuse for manipulative behaviour during divorce and you should never feel pressured into making a decision, or respond to ultimatums or threats from your ex until you’ve spoken to your solicitor. If you’re finding it difficult to communicate then mediation can be a useful option to help you work through issues with an impartial third party and avoid the cost and stress of going to court.
Finally, make sure to look after yourself. Call in help and support from your friends and family, and use the advice and guidance of your solicitor to help you to see a path to a fresh start.
If you’d like to talk to one of our friendly, down-to-earth family lawyers about divorce, mediation, collaborative family law, or anything else to do with the separation process, please give us a call on 01628 634667 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
divorce solicitor, family law, mediation, new year, separation