On the 13th day of Christmas my true love said to me …

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… there’s too much wrong, we can’t go on, a divorce there will have to be.

Perhaps not the seasonal message that you would want to hear but there is a tendency to wait until after Christmas before sharing this difficult decision with one’s partner.

For both the giver of this message and the recipient, the likely result is months of emotional turmoil and uncertainty but the reality is that life will go on and with help, it is possible to live through this experience.

Having helped a multitude of people through these troubled times, Mary Pearce, who heads the Family Law team at Ashtons Legal, shares her top 10 suggestions for actions you can take that will have a positive impact.

  1. make sure that you have a supportive group of friends and family around you to help you through the good and bad days that will follow
  2. no matter how hard, try to keep a line of communication open with your partner
  3. if the stress gets too much, do not be shy about talking about your health with your GP
  4. try to keep the children of the relationship away from any dysfunction that may be going on between you both
  5. as hard as it might be, do not do anything which may damage or undermine your children’s relationship with the other parent
  6. if it is viable, do talk with your partner about the possibility of counselling, this can help drill down whether a reconciliation is possible and, if not, help you part graciously
  7. consider going to Mediation to discuss how practical and financial aspects of ending the relationship might fall into place
  8. get legal advice about what your financial settlement might look like, but understand that the lifestyle that you had during the relationship is unlikely to be sustainable after it
  9. make a list of all your debts, assets, and pensions. Calculate your income from all sources, and prepare a budget so you are clear about what you are spending
  10. take things one step at a time and do not rush or get panicked into decisions that you might then regret

There is helpful advice online about the divorce process but each set of circumstances is different and therefore there is no substitute for discussing your position with an expert who can tailor the advice to your specific situation.

I like to ensure that anyone seeking advice about separation and divorce is able to have an initial discussion at an affordable price.

This can help you to decide what to do next and offer reassurance and certainty. The anxieties that you might have about the cost of divorcing can be addressed by looking at the options on offer. You may well feel daunted about trying to deal with the process yourself, but equally, you may have to look at certainty in relation to the legal cost of getting divorced.

It is therefore important that you choose legal advisors who offer a number of costs options some involving a fixed cost or discounted fees for payment upfront. This will give you one less thing to worry about as the divorce progresses.

In some circumstances, you or your legal advisors may suggest a more bespoke service but it is important that you have these discussions so you are clear what the whole process is likely to cost.

You will also need to feel that when dealing with one of the most stressful events you might ever encounter that you are able to have confidence in the advice you are given and a good rapport with the person providing it. Doubt is something that is best avoided in your relationship with your legal advisor.

For most families, Christmas is a time of care and closeness but for those whose Christmas has an unwelcome ending, you need to remember that the ending of one year may well prove to be the start of a different but hopefully better one.

Contact our family law specialists today

If you would like individual advice, Mary Pearce can be contacted on mary.pearce@ashtonslegal.co.uk or 01284 732117. Alternatively, please send an enquiry to our specialist Family Law team by using our online enquiry form or by calling 0330 404 0749.


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