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January – the divorce month?
By Family Law Solicitor Kelly Willmott
For many, January well and truly represents the mantra “new year, new me” with research indicating that more people contact divorce lawyers in January than any other month. Unsurprisingly, January has therefore earned itself the title ‘divorce month.’
This may not be that much of a revelation, given that the Christmas period can prove to be a stressful time for many couples, especially those who are already experiencing difficulties. Divorce may not always be the answer, but as January comes to an end, if this is something that you have been weighing up, you may wish to ask yourself the following questions:
- Can the relationship be saved?
Divorce proceedings should not be rushed into. Before any steps are taken, serious thought should be given as to whether the relationship is really over. A tough period does not have to spell the end and it may be possible to work through the issues, perhaps with counselling services such as Relate, or with the help of family and friends.
- When should you get the ball rolling?
There is never a ‘good time’ to start divorce proceedings and the answer will be different for every couple. A divorce may not be something that you are initially interested in, however, if there are financial matters that need to be sorted following your separation, it may not be advisable to wait. It is, therefore, sensible to get legal advice sooner rather than later.
- Do I have grounds for divorce?
Where there is no particular reason for a relationship breakdown, many people assume that they will not be able to divorce immediately. It is not necessarily the case that there must have been an affair, or a particular incident, to be able to start a divorce straight away and there may be a number of factors that you could rely upon to prove to the court that the marriage has broken down. You should, therefore, consider exploring your options with your lawyer.
- What about the children?
If you have children, an agreement will need to be reached in relation to both where they will live and the time they spend with each parent. The actual arrangements will not be recorded in the divorce papers, but they may be relevant when sorting the financial aspect of the divorce. The court is concerned with arrangements that are in the child’s welfare, but if you simply cannot agree, you may wish to obtain legal advice and attempt mediation in order to avoid an application to the court.
If you would like specialist advice on divorce matters, please do call DFA Law on 01604 609560 and we will be happy to help.