New Year, New Start?

By February 8, 2016family, Legal Updates

There is often a great deal of media hype in the New Year about family lawyers being inundated with new divorce enquiries, grappling to keep up with the post-Christmas surge of people wanting a new start; the so-called “Black Monday”. In my experience, whilst there is certainly an increase in the number of new enquiries during January and February, it is not as dramatic as the media sometimes reports; I do not come into the office on 2 January to a sudden influx of new clients all desperate to proceed immediately with a divorce, civil dissolution or separation.

Instead, the work arrives more gradually and clients tend to prefer to take their time to consider my advice and the options open to them. Some have hung on to avoid breaking up the family and causing upset over the festive period; some have fallen out over the festive period (often a stressful time); and some have simply decided on new beginnings which do not involve their partner/spouse. Whatever the reason, there is often much more to deal with than just separating or obtaining a divorce once they are ready, such as dividing the finances and resolving the residence and contact arrangements for any children involved. All of this involves big decisions and can take time.

Timing often plays an important part in someone’s decision to separate, so there is sometimes a pattern in a family lawyer’s calendar, though not the dramatic surge that the media would have us believe. It is a very tough decision to make, and seeing a solicitor does not commit you to anything – better to take advice, think and proceed when you are ready. As with many things, it is also better not to pay too much attention to the headlines…

If you would like any advice, please do contact us on 01730 268211 or 01730 816711 or contact me at emily.bull@macdonaldoates.co.uk.