Arguments with your spouse over Christmas and New Year
It is said that January is the peak time of the year for the issue of divorce proceedings. Here is some initial guidance from our family law team for anyone facing marital problems.
The January Blues
Over recent years the media has suggested that the first Monday in the New Year should be named “Divorce D-Day” – the day when most divorce petitions are issued in England and Wales. Whether or not this is true, we usually see an increase in enquiries in January relating to relationship and marriage breakdown.
Often one spouse is faced with their partner’s decision to end a marriage or relationship. Obviously, this can be very difficult, especially if that partner is in a new relationship. There are many professionals available, including Relate, who can offer therapy or counselling if the relationship can be rebuilt or, if not, to help the couple to separate as civilly as possible.
Do We Have to Go to Court?
In the majority of cases, divorcing couples rarely attend at Court. An undefended divorce is an administrative or paperwork process, dealt with by way of the filing of documents and correspondence. No Court attendances are required.
Similarly, if the financial issues are agreed, the proposed financial Order is considered by the Court as part of its paperwork and there are no hearings.
The Courts are keen to promote alternatives to Court action. These include mediation, collaborative law, and negotiations via solicitors.
If an agreement is reached by one of the above methods, this will recorded in an application to the Court for a Consent Order without a Court hearing. If the agreement is approved, it then becomes legal and binding.
What is the Best Way Forward?
An initial consultation with an experienced family solicitor provides you with a chance to talk over your thoughts with an experienced professional and understand the next best steps for you.
We frequently meet with clients when they are contemplating divorce or separation to provide general legal advice. In some cases, we might not see them for a number of months (or even years) whilst they consider their options or deal with matters without a lawyer until matters have to be formalised.
We are firmly of the view that our job is to find constructive solutions to the issues which our clients face.