It’s well known fact that the second Monday after Christmas is usually the busiest day of the year for divorce solicitors as they are contacted for new appointments.
The reasons for break-ups are varied and not just because of personal problems – economic pressures that build during the year are compounded by the excesses of Christmas; couples who live essentially separate lives during the working year are thrown together for days on end. Family strife can add to the problem resulting in meltdown. Christmas is a happy time for most, but for others experiencing a rocky patch, it maybe the end of the line.
The divorce rate is around 40% and the percentage of cohabiting couples splitting up is even higher. Interestingly, the divorce rate for the over 60’s is the highest rising group.
So how do you avoid becoming another statistic this year or next year? If you know that you have difficulties in your marriage – seek help. There is no shame in asking for assistance – RELATE are willing and able to assist couples and private counselling is also available. Indeed, Sir Paul Coleridge, a High Court judge has recently launched a campaign to promote staying together in marriage entitled ‘mend it, don’t end it’.
And how do couples make a start on mending their relationships? It is worth spending more time finding out what you both want. Remember that people change as they grow older and sometimes want different things, but as long as you know what you both want from a relationship, you can work together to achieve those.
Simple factors, like caring, sharing, trusting and empathising are the things that hold couples together year in, year out. We all want someone to care for and someone to care about us.
It goes without saying that you mustn’t forget your partner’s Birthday or anniversaries, but what about all the other “little” things? Let him have Friday night out with the lads and a curry – in return you can insist in “Strictly on a Saturday! In addition, an occasional bunch of flowers or the word ‘sorry’ can go a long way.
If you have tried to mend your relationship and you truly feel that you cannot carry on and are considering separating, you should find out what the possible consequences could be. In many cases, couples see that the grass is not always greener and after taking stock, they sometimes decide to stay together!
If you have finally decided to separate, then it is vital to get good, clear and supportive advice from the outset. Both parties should consult experienced and reputable family solicitors who, being aware of the various options available, can work together to reach an amicable settlement, which will hopefully be truly beneficial for both parties and any children involved. Through knowledgeable negotiation costs can be kept to a minimum and a ‘fresh start’ and relief for those involved can be achieved.
If you require further information please contact a member of our Private Client team on 01625 442100.