11 January, 2021
The year 2020 brought its own set of challenges and couples saw their relationships tested by the pressures that the global pandemic brought: financial worries, health concerns and spending prolonged amounts of time together. For some, these challenges may have exposed deeper longstanding issues that have proved impossible to resolve. With the pandemic still seemingly looming over us, individuals undoubtably will still want to act cautiously before taking any action but delaying a separation could potentially be more harmful to one's mental health as well as physical wellbeing. A separation or divorce does not necessarily have to mean conflict, hostility and long court battles. If you are contemplating any separation then these practical considerations could go some way to manage any heightened emotions and potential conflict.
It is important to try and reduce the impact the separation will have on any children. It is researched and documented that expose to conflict can have a debilitating effect on a child's emotional and psychological development. Consideration will need to be given as to where the children will live and how they will spend time with each parent. There is not a "set" arrangement that fits all families, consider what will work best for your family putting the children's best interests first.
Financial pressure is one of the main reasons for a party to put off separating, often putting their own health at risk. To assist with this, try getting your finances in order at the earliest opportunity. Parties will be under a duty to provide each other with "full and frank disclosure of their financial information" this will include bank statements, evidence of income, property and pension valuations. Seeking early advice from a specialist family lawyer can provide you with an idea of any likely financial settlement. Having clarity on your financial position can help you move forward with a clear head and negotiate calmly from a clear position, reducing conflicts regarding the matrimonial finances at a later date.
This can sometimes seem impossible if a relationship has ended on bad terms but there are ways to assist parties in communicating in an amicable and resolution-based manner. Mediation should be considered early on and can assist parties in keeping focused on the issues at hand including divorce, finances and arrangements for the children. Communicating through a specialist lawyer can also help parties open up a line of communication to assist in resolving matters timely and fairly.
No matter the reasons for the breakdown of the relationship, it is important that you can manage your own emotional wellbeing throughout the process. Accessing support from a professional service or friends and family can help you deal with the separation and any legal process when finalising that separation.
For our team of specialist family lawyers it is business as usual throughout the pandemic and we appreciate that now more than ever, our clients need our help and support through these difficult and sensitive decisions.
For more information contact Adrienne Baker in our Family/Divorce department via email or phone on 01254 580 000. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.