Planning when to announce your separation is far more common than you might have thought. Our recent survey revealed that six in every 10 couples who divorced scheduled the announcement of their split.
Couples will plan when to announce their divorce so as to make it easier for themselves, their family and their friends. While 36 per cent did not regret the decision to hold off on announcing their break up, our survey found that 60 per cent wished they had divorced earlier.
With that in mind, we should look at the reasons why spouses ‘diarise’ divorce. Here are the top three reasons unhappy couples schedule their divorce in the diary:
It is no secret that children are prone to hide relationship problems from their parents. This is especially the case when the parents are elderly and unwell – the children might think it will be easier to ‘wait it out’ and hold off announcing their plans for separation until their parents have passed away.
Not wanting to end a marriage while parents are alive is also common for children with very religious parents. This might be because the couple do not wish to upset religious parents or to be met with their disapproval.
One of the main reasons why people will put off the announcement is a desire to get finances and housing situations arranged first. That way when they make the divorce announcement they can share all the details about how the divorce will work.
Our survey showed us that some people wait until they have got a job or saved enough money to ensure that they can live independently before separating. Many people will wait for their partner to retire so they can sort out their financial situation before divorcing.
The number one reason why people diarise divorce is for the sake of their children.
Spouses will put off announcing their divorce so as not to ruin celebrations for their child. Four per cent admitted to waiting until after Christmas or a child’s birthday, meanwhile two per cent waited until they returned from a family holiday.
Perhaps the most frequent reason people give for planning to divorce in the future is to wait until the children have left home.
A massive 40 per cent of divorcees say they agreed to wait for a certain future date before splitting. However, scheduling your divorce in advance is not always the best idea. Our survey revealed that 60 per cent of people regret their decision to hold off their divorce.
I have learnt from my experience as a divorce lawyer that delaying divorce or separation can have a negative impact on cases. So, if you are thinking about getting a divorce, I would recommend speaking to a family solicitor as soon as possible.
The UK contact centre at Slater and Gordon Lawyers is open 24/7. You can call us for legal advice on divorce at any time on freephone 0800 916 9055 or you can contact us online and we will call you back at a time that suits you.
Amy Harris is a family law solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.