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What to consider when getting a divorce in 2022

If you’re considering a divorce in the New Year, there are a number of key points you need to think about before confirming your decision.

06 January 2022

The first working day of the New Year is known as ‘National Divorce Day’, having earned its notorious nickname after several law firms reported spikes in divorce enquiries around this date. Leading relationship support charity Relate also sees a huge increase in website visitors just after Christmas as relationships reach their boiling points during the holiday period.

Divorce can be a life altering transition. If you’re considering a divorce in the New Year, there are several things you should think about first before confirming your decision.

Is the marriage really over?

If you’re thinking about divorce, you need to be sure that a particularly stressful Christmas period does not cloud your judgement, and that your marriage really is beyond repair. The festive period can be both a joyful and difficult time. Spending increased periods together sometimes highlights existing issues in a marriage that haven’t been addressed. But a tough Christmas doesn’t have to spell the end of a marriage. You and your spouse may be able to work through your issues together or with the support of family and friends, or counselling services.

Remember, marriage doesn’t come with a manual. Making it work is no easy feat, and it’s one that requires hard work from both parties involved. It’s something many learn over the course of many years, but sometimes hard work just isn’t enough.

If the pressures of Christmas have caused strain on your relationship, it’s important to address these matters and consider what aspects could be worked on in the New Year. For example, if you’ve experienced financial disagreements or found it hard to balance your time during the holidays, try to agree on a New Year budget, plan time to be together and agree to have some downtime spent apart. If you know you’ve done everything in your power to work things out and a new start doesn’t seem possible, it may now be time to consider a divorce.

Can you be granted a divorce?

Another thing to consider before divorce is whether you have sufficient grounds to begin divorce proceedings. Many believe if they want to start the process, they won’t be able to if there has been no particular reason for the breakdown of the marriage. People often assume that to get a divorce, there has to have been an affair, or a particularly negative incident has to have occurred. But this isn't the case.

If you've felt unsupported by your spouse or feel that the two of you no longer make the effort to spend time together, you could rely on this information to prove to a court that the marriage is over. There are other reasons why people can seek a divorce that you may not be aware of.

What happens with the children?

If you have children, you will need to try and agree on child arrangements for them with your spouse. The court is primarily concerned with the welfare of the child/children when any arrangements are made. Try to agree a routine of care which is in a child’s best interests.

You may find it difficult to reach an agreement with your spouse, or maybe your complicated work patterns make it difficult to set out a regular routine. If this is the case, you should seek legal advice and consider mediation.

When to make the decision

When considering a divorce, it may be wise to wait until you have less on your mind after the busy Christmas and New Year period. We generally advise that you speak to a family lawyer in the first instance to ensure you are as informed as possible.

If you would like specialist advice from a family lawyer, our experts will support you through this difficult time. Contact us when you’re sure that divorce is the best course of action.

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