The January Divorce Phenomenon

It is a truth universally acknowledged that sadly January is the busiest month of the year for family lawyers and is sometimes described as the January divorce phenomenon. The festive period, which comes with the pressures of spending increased time with loved ones can often prove too much for a relationship to bear and those cracks which have already begun to appear can no longer be glued back together.

Bringing a relationship to an end is difficult under normal circumstances, there are bound to be lingering feelings of hurt, resentment and fear for the future. However, these feelings are only further magnified at a time which is meant to be the most wonderful of the year, resulting in the January divorce phenomenon.

Seek advice at an early stage & the perils of DIY Divorce
Having taken the decision to divorce, all sorts of questions arise, the most difficult of which is often concerning who the children will live with and who gets what from the family finances.  The prospect of unravelling joint accounts, joint mortgages and various other assets accumulated during a marriage is daunting, and at a financially difficult time, many divorcing couples understandably try to save money by trying a DIY divorce. This frequently results in additional spend later with a solicitor being brought in to correct mistakes.  The important thing is to seek advice at an early stage.  Professional advice will mean that you can feel confident in knowing that the proceedings will be conducted properly and fairly.

Alternatives to Court
Divorce also doesn’t always mean going to court, something that many divorcing couples don’t realise – in fact, most parties will never see a courtroom.  There are various options available to you which we can guide you through, including mediation, which can often be less expensive and achieve a result more quickly. Rachel Macwilliam, Divorce Solicitor at Penderlaw, says “We understand that divorce isn’t a decision that you will make lightly, and we are here to help support you once you have taken that first step. It does not help that the word ‘divorce’ has become synonymous with long, drawn-out court battles, where each side fights tooth and nail down to the last penny. Of course, this does happen, but with the right lawyer by your side, it doesn’t have to. We are firm believers in the power of cooperation and will do whatever we can to facilitate an amicable outcome. We are strong advocates for mediation and believe that positive progress can be made towards resolution by participating in that process.

Rachel’s Divorce Survival Tips

  • Seek legal advice early – This will avoid expensive mistakes and you’ll find that experienced professionals will provide reassurance at this difficult time as well as guidance
  • Don’t choose a DIY Divorce – these frequently cause problems later on resulting in additional expense anyway
  • Consider mediation – often a less expensive but effective option for many couples

No Fault Divorce
The long awaited introduction of No Fault Divorce in April 2022 has at least made the actual process around divorce less acrimonious.  The new legislation has removed any blame associated with the decision to divorce.  Further information about the new legislation and a breakdown of the stages can be found here.

For further information you may find the Relate and Resolution websites helpful.

Get in touch
Find out more about how Penderlaw can help you or contact us for more information or a quote.