The Christmas decorations are back in their boxes, skies are grey and many of us are feeling the financial strain from the festive period.
Spending more time together during the Christmas festivities and a feeling of a ‘fresh start’ in January can often bring relationship difficulties into sharper focus. For some, they may feel that their marriage needs to come to an end.
Dan Norris, one of our divorce solicitors, tells us his five most important things to consider before you embark on divorce proceedings.
- Be certain of your decision
If you are considering entering divorce proceedings, it’s important to look into other options such as marriage counselling. It could be that the January blues will pass and brighter days lie ahead.
Dan says: “It’s no surprise that January is a busy month for our team. Some of us could be feeling the tension after the festivities which could affect our decisions, so it’s important that you’re going into a divorce absolutely certain that there is no other option for you both.”
- Understand the finances within your marriage
Getting a clear picture of the assets, debts and investments shared between you and your spouse is essential when taking the first steps in a divorce.
“It can be common in marriages for one spouse to be responsible for the finances, so it may be that you know very little about your situation. Try to recall as much information as you can, however small it may be, such as a bank statement sent through the post.”
- Consider what is best for your children
A child’s best interests need to be kept in mind throughout the entire divorce process, Dan recommends.
“Start considering what you want to happen in regards to your children early on in relation to the living arrangements for the children. Sometimes children will have one permanent base, and other times they will share their time between parents. What works best for children will depend upon your individual circumstances and we can speak to you about that.”
- Try to view your divorce as a positive, not a negative
With the recent introduction of ‘no fault’ divorces, it’s now possible for neither spouse to be ‘blamed’ for the breakdown of a marriage. This new change means more marriages are able to end in an amicable manner.
Dan says this is a huge step forward in changing attitudes to divorce: “Divorce doesn’t have to be a negative event. In fact, some people say the decision to end their marriage was the best thing they ever did and can still maintain a good relationship with their ex-partner.”
- Take care of your mental health
The ending of any relationship can be hugely upsetting, so make sure you have a strong support system and coping strategies in place if you find yourself struggling. “Talking things through with friends and family and taking time away from the divorce proceedings can help to relieve some of the stress you may be feeling. I would also recommend seeking advice from your GP if things simply get too much.”