Divorce Day or Divorce Monday is typically the first Monday after Christmas and the New Year festivities, this year Divorce Monday will fall on Monday 6th January 2020. It is the time of year when law firms expect to be inundated with fresh enquiries from couples wishing to separate and start the divorce process.
From a divorced divorce lawyer’s perspective, I recommend that you seek support as early as possible. Your emotions will be high but practical knowledge and information is key before starting the divorce process.
My 10 steps to divorcing right:
- Communication is key so try to agree a much as possible about your arrangements if you can. It will save you time and reduce your costs.
- Put the children’s needs first, the end of a marriage does not have to be the end of a family.
- Seek early legal advice, know your options before you start any proceedings. Information and knowledge about the processes, costs, timing will all be invaluable to how you deal with difficult discussions.
- Manage your expectations, this is where early legal advice will ensure that discussions are handled fairly and reasonably.
- Be amicable from the outset, of course you cannot predict the other party’s response but make it known that you want to reach an amicable resolution in respect of the divorce, children and finances.
- Seek independent financial advice from a financial adviser, it is not the role of your solicitor to give you such advice. If you have a business then speak to your accountant.
- Collate your financial documents and consider obtaining valuations of your assets and pensions. Be transparent and don’t try to hide your assets, being open and honest will save time and costs and avoid negative inferences being drawn against your conduct.
- If discussion become strained, choose alternative options such as negotiations between solicitors, mediation, arbitration or collaborative law. If you come to an agreement, take the agreement to your solicitor and they will draw up a consent order. Above all if you can, try to keep the matter out of court.
- If court proceedings cannot be avoided, you may have to look at your funding options and your solicitor can advise you on those steps.
- Stay calm, divorce does not need to be the end, quite often it is the beginning!
Article by Manisha Raja, Senior Associate Family Solicitor.