January is notoriously a tough month for many, with cold weather and long nights combining with the post-Christmas blues to create a fair amount of misery. Additionally, as most divorce solicitors will tell you, January is also one of the most common months for couples to separate and, with the added ‘lockdown effect’, January 2021 is expected to be no different.
Divorce is a hard time for separating couples and, understandably, many people just want to 'get it over with' as soon as possible. As such, DIY divorces are often tempting – meaning going through the divorce process without legal advice. For some couples, this can be a viable option; if the divorce is amicable and the circumstances are straightforward. However, there are a range of fairly common situations where seeking legal advice should seriously be considered – and many people don’t realise it.
Seek legal advice for your divorce if…
…there are children involved.
Separating when you have children always has added complications, both from an emotional and a logistical point of view. You will need to agree on where your children will live, how you will split the care of your children and how they will be financially supported . A further layer of complication can be added if one of the parents also wishes to move abroad following the divorce. A solicitor can help you agree on these details through mediation if you’re struggling, and then make the decisions agreed legally binding with a consent order.
…you own property together.
Owning property can also make the divorce process trickier. Perhaps the house is in your ex-partner’s name but you’ve been contributing to the mortgage, or the mortgage is in both of your names, or neither of you want to move out of the property, or you want to sell but you’ve both paid varying amounts into the property – talking to a solicitor will help you to understand your rights and come to the best possible solution.
…you have complicated finances.
Complicated finances doesn’t mean discovering things like hidden bank accounts or gambling debts (although this is more common than you’d think) but things such as pension funds, trusts or business interests. Ensuring that any divorce settlement reflects the value of such assets is essential and seeking help from a specialist divorce lawyer can support you with this,
…if one of you is financially dependent on the other.
If you rely on your spouse financially then divorce, and considering life after divorce, can be a particularly scary time. There are a number of reasons why one partner may rely on the other for money. Perhaps one gave up work to raise children or developed an illness or disability during the marriage that left them unable to work. In many cases, it could just be that one of the spouses earns a significantly higher wage than the other but whatever the situation, it can feel like a worrying position to be in. Your solicitor will advise you on spousal maintenance you could be you’re entitled to so you’re able to move forward without worry.
…if the two of you can’t agree.
As you may expect, it’s not always easy to agree on everything during the divorce process. From ‘who gets the dog?’ to handling business co-owners divorcing, situations can escalate quickly and emotions can run high. While no two situations are the same, divorce solicitors have helped thousands of couples through the separation process and can offer you their expert support through mediation.
If you’re currently going through the divorce process and have recognised your own situation in any of these scenarios then please don’t hesitate to get in touch today. As members of Resolution, an organisation dedicated to promoting a constructive approach to family issues, our compassionate expert team are here for you. Contact us today for a free twenty minute consultation.