To some, the month of January, all 31 days, has become known as “Divorce Month.”
January sees couples pushing to end their marriages in the days that immediately follow the New Year.
Reports illustrate that January is a time of year when couples examine divorce options.
In our experience within this area, the Christmas period can be viewed as the final straw for relationships that have been delicate for some time. The cost-of-living crisis has exacerbated this further with heightened financial concerns magnifying issues.
Upon returning to work after the festive period, a flood of enquiries are awaiting from clients looking to explore their options and seek legal advice in relation to divorce. Research has shown that the Google search engine shows a rise between 10-30%higher than the average throughout the year for people googling ‘divorce and separation’.
At Duncan &McConnell Solicitors Ltd we recognise that many couples who have decided to separate need support when dealing with the matter of divorce and separation. Divorce isn’t a happy occasion and we appreciate that contacting a solicitor regarding this matter can be a somewhat daunting process.
If you are considering raising the issue of divorce and separation this year, I have outlined key steps that you should consider prior to meeting with a solicitor.
1. Do your research
Whilst the legal position should be the similar, each solicitor’s approach to this area of law can be very different. It is vital that you do your research and make sure your chosen firm specialises in family law.
Throughout the process you will need to speak to your Family Lawyer about some very personal information so it is crucial that you are comfortable with them. If you have a preferred method of communication, you should make this clear to the solicitor in your first appointment.
2. Ensure your paperwork is in order
When you contact a firm to make an appointment, you will require to provide paperwork for your case. This will include your marriage/partnership certificate and/or your children's birth certificates as these will be necessary to lodge with the court. If you have already received a letter from a solicitor on behalf of your partner or ex-partner, bring that with you too.
3. Bring yourself up to speed on your finances
If you need advice about the financial side of a separation, divorce or dissolution then be as organised as you can about your financial position before you meet a solicitor. Do you have a Mortgage? Find out how much is left to pay. Do you have a Joint account? Find out how much is in it. What are the monthly outgoings? Make a list so you’re aware of what needs to be considered. If there are matters you can't find out, investigations can be made, and documents can be recovered through a court process.
4. Keep a record
If you are meeting a solicitor to discuss disputed arrangements for children, try to keep a diary of key events focused around contact. This will give your solicitor an idea as to the problems and any patterns of behaviour. It is also useful to have should court proceedings ever become necessary.
Equally, if there have been social media posts or messages with your ex-partner that may potentially be referred to in the future, make sure you take a screenshot and save it for future reference (should it be necessary).
At Duncan &McConnell Solicitors Ltd, we deal with divorce/dissolution matters and we would urge that if you wish to discuss this in further detail that you arrange an appointment with either myself or our Miss Morrison.