The first Monday after the Christmas and New Year holiday period is often known as ‘Divorce Day’ – the day on which family law solicitors are inundated with people seeking separation advice.
The festive holiday period can be tough, for instance when couples in conflict put on a united front for the sake of the children, their families or simply try to fit the perception that ‘everyone’ is happy at Christmas time. While ‘Divorce Day’ itself may be something of a media fad, it is certainly true that January is a busy month for family law solicitors with people waiting for the celebrations of Christmas and New Year to be over before initiating separation.
People often contact a family lawyer looking for immediate advice or solutions. If you find yourself in this position, here is what we advise in advance of seeking legal advice:
Take a breath
Everything at Christmas seems 100 miles per hour and before you know it, it’s over, you’re back to work and normal service has resumed. Take some time to yourself to reflect, reset your own clock and clear your head.
Confide in a friend
In a world full of people’s life highlights on social media there can be great pressure to constantly appear positive. This can be hard, particularly when it might not always be the case. Everything doesn’t need to be public, so confiding in a supportive friend may lift a great weight off your shoulders.
Life goes on
Think about the practicalities of your situation. If you are going to move out, is there somewhere you can move to, would you need to find somewhere, does your partner/spouse have somewhere to go? What about childcare arrangements? How will this decision affect your children and what can be done in advance to minimise any disruption to them? Life goes on after taking the first step of separation and issues like these are likely to arise at an initial consultation with a family lawyer so it’s good to consider these in advance.
Think about your assets and liabilities. Up to this point, a lot of people have thought more about the emotional side of things which is entirely understandable. However, if you arrange to see a family lawyer, you will be asked about your properties, bank accounts, pensions credit cards etc so they can seek to ascertain the extent of the ‘matrimonial property’. You may not know this information but make a note as best you can and bring it along to your first meeting.
Make your appointment
You will not get advice over the phone so be prepared for a face-to-face meeting and find the right family lawyer for you. No doubt, there will be a lot to take in from your first meeting so feel free to bring a friend or family member along with you. Once you have followed the steps above, you will be in the best position to get the most out of this meeting.
Whether ‘Divorce Day’ itself is a myth or reality, whenever you decide to take the step to consult a family lawyer, our family law team at Anderson Strathern are here to get you to where you want to be.