Does the New Year mean a time for change?

The ringing in of the New Year often brings about the need for change in most of us.

Usually that is a new diet and exercise regime after the excesses of Christmas or the undertaking of a new hobby.

However for some of us the “new me” attitude can also signal the end of an ongoing relationship that may have been struggling for some time up to that point.

The pressures of Christmas and all that comes with it, teamed with the amount of concentrated time spent in the company of a spouse, are often the catalysts needed by couples, or one half of a couple, to seek to end their relationship.

January 8th is regularly dubbed “Divorce Day” in the press as it is statistically the day upon which there is a spike in the number of people wishing to bring their marriages to an end after the festive period.

Relate, the UK-wide provider of relationship support, also reports that the number of calls received also spikes in the month of January – a staggering 24% increase on their monthly average.

With emotions running high and with a stream of “experts” wishing to give advice, whether that is a friend in the pub or celebrity agony aunts in newspapers and magazines, or people on the internet, it is important for people in this position to take the right advice from the right people at the right time.

This advice could come from a marriage counsellor, a therapist or of course from a family solicitor.

The end result could be that there are things that can be done to repair the relationship. However, if this is not the case it would be wise for the person seeking help to understand their rights and their responsibilities before any final decisions are made.

Most solicitors will offer an initial consultation with a client in order to set out all of their options and to advise them as to which one or ones are most viable depending on their set of circumstances. This advice will be given completely confidentially and with no obligation for any future commitment.

Therefore a person can come along for advice without anybody knowing about it and if they feel that the time is not right for them to act they do not have to do anything. However, they will usually feel more confident having discussed their situation and then understanding all the things they have the option to do either now or in the future.

Furthermore, in the unhappy event that decisions are made to end a marriage there are many ways that agreements can be made in a non-confrontational way, such as the involvement of mediation, collaborative law or a number of alternative dispute resolution methods which allows the parties to decide what is to happen to their assets and their children.

This not only leaves the parties in control of their own matters but also, with proposed reform towards a “blame free” divorce process underway, this also potentially helps to maintain a reasonable relationship between the parties and hopefully will cost them less money to resolve in the long run.

Less acrimony in divorce will also hopefully be less stressful to both parties and if there are children involved for less stress for the children in respect of handovers and co-parenting by estranged/divorced parties.

For confidential legal advice on any matters relating to family law, Claire Weeks at the Curwens office in Hoddesdon offers an initial one hour consultation for a fixed fee of just £75 + VAT. To book an appointment please call 01992 463727.