Christmas doesn’t always bring good cheer17.12.2014
Every year the press will run stories about the first working day after the New Year being nicknamed “divorce day” by family lawyers.
I would not necessarily think that there is one specific day, but certainly January is a peak time for new enquiries.
Clearly, a marriage that is working well is not going to come to an end simply because it is Christmas. But if there are underlying problems, the stress of spending time together and the financial pressures it brings can bring other issues to a head.
When a marriage or relationship ends, it is important to sort out the practicalities and that is best done with the help of a family solicitor. Emotions will often run high, people will pass blame and it may be difficult to reach any type of agreement without third party help and guidance.
The most pressing issue is likely to be the financial situation, particularly the family home. Consideration has to be given to both the short term, and the longer term solutions. The most crucial element is to obtain full details of the financial position of both parties, including assets in their sole name if they are married and their income. A pension could be the most valuable matrimonial asset so valuations must be obtained.
If there are children, their needs must be considered. There is no rule requiring that they live with one parent rather than another, and the emphasis is always on reaching agreement based on the best interests of the child.
The input of a solicitor can be invaluable in ensuring the fairest and most appropriate settlement is reached and it is always recommended that both parties seek independent legal advice.