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New Year Divorce or Dissolution: Advice for Parents

Posted on January 2, 2020
Divorce Advice

The festive season can be a difficult time to make life-changing decisions about the future of your marriage or civil partnership. However, the new year provides the opportunity to take stock and consider what is best for you and your family.

If you’re considering divorce or dissolution this January, you’re not alone. It is the most common time of year for couples who have been having difficulties in their marriage or civil partnerships to make their first step towards a split. In fact, Monday 6th January 2020 has been dubbed ‘Divorce Day’, due to the spike in divorce or dissolution enquiries solicitors typically see at the start of the first full week back at work after the Christmas and New Year period.

If the festive season was the opportunity you needed to reflect upon the future of your marriage or civil partnership, Jefferies are able to guide you through the process.

With financial pressures and family tensions at a peak during the festive period, Christmas can be a breaking point for many couples. If their relationship was already in trouble, it can be the last ‘pull on the cracker’ tearing any hopes for a happy future together.

For parents that don’t want to ruin ‘the magic’ of Christmas, the festive period can also be a difficult time to talk about a split with their children. With toys unwrapped and festivities over, and the sense of new beginnings on the horizon, new year is the ideal time to make that first step. To help you make those arrangements, our Family Law team offer their most frequently asked questions and advice…

When should I tell my child we are getting divorced?

If you are planning to tell your children you are thinking about or are actually getting divorced / dissolving your civil partnership, you should be absolutely certain – on both sides – that you are going to go through with it first. Also, as structure is very important to a child, you should try and get all the practical matters in hand before you tell them. This includes coming to an agreement with your partner in respect to various matters, including:

  • Where the children will live
  • How much time they’ll spend with each parent
  • How you’ll financially support your children

In the first instance, it is best to get a Solicitor to help you make arrangements and address any concerns you may have about the breakup. Even if the divorce is uncontested and all is agreed between both partners, there can be unexpected issues later down the line that would have been better resolved at the beginning. We recommend that the child is left out of these discussions whenever possible and any conflict is minimised around them, irrespective of how old they are.

How should I tell my child we are getting divorced?

If possible, we always recommend that you tell the children together, in a private place – preferably at home and maybe on a weekend so it does not cause any disruption to the school week. In many cases, when one partner is planning to move out of the family home, it can be best to tell them a few days before the move is happening. This gives the child enough time to process the information, and get to grips with the changing situation.

Your child may have many questions about when you made the decision to get divorced and why your relationship went wrong. We recommend that you tell your children that it is not their fault, that you still love them the same, and that your role as parents will not change. It is best to keep them away from all of the ‘negative’ details as much as possible. Again, if you are not sure about how to approach this sensitive subject, then we would strongly urge you to meet with a Solicitor before breaking the news to your children.

What if my partner doesn’t agree to the divorce terms?

Our Solicitors will always try to assist you in resolving any issues between partners to they keep away from Court. However, as a very last resort, our Solicitors can also represent parties that are having trouble coming to an agreement, directly. Ultimately, if there is no agreement, the Court will always consider the best interests of the child and will make the final decision, unless an agreement can be reached voluntarily. We can help you build your case and present it in the best way.

We understand that every situation of divorce will be different and some circumstances can be more complicated than others. For instance, in cases where there may be an abusive spouse, it can be very difficult knowing how to deal with the situation to protect yourself and your children. We are also experienced with cases where one parent is planning to move abroad following a split, wishing to take the child with them and so are able to assist you with your case, no matter what the circumstances.  We are able to act without delay.

Our Family Law team is especially skilled in complex divorce cases, including international child law, and can help navigate you through any tricky situation.  As children panel Solicitors and Court advocates we can help you each step of the way, from start to finish and in Court.  We are particularly skilled at helping in cases where there are high levels of conflict that are impacting on children and causing emotional harm in consequence.

Plan your New Year divorce with Jefferies

We know getting a divorce can be a daunting yet exciting time, but it’s also an opportunity for a new beginning for you and your children. Jefferies are here to help you and your family to make sure everything goes through as smoothly as possible, achieving an outcome that is best for you. Please contact our specialist team of Family Solicitors today on 01702 443 480 or send your enquiry here.

From all our team at Jefferies, we wish you and your family a very healthy and happy 2020!

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