New Year, New You

Category: Children, Divorce, Family

Festive falling out and resolutions to split

Traditionally, the beginning of the New Year is the busiest period for a Family lawyer. For many couples, as the decorations come down, so does the happy family façade.

Pressures of conforming, and putting on a front during the Christmas period often highlights, or even worsens the issues.

New Year is viewed as a time for change; a time for positivity; and a time for a fresh start. Sometimes, this leads to the decision to end the relationship; to go through divorce or separation. This step can seem drastic, yet it provides both parties with an opportunity to create their own, happier futures.

The weight of guilt

For many, maintaining the status quo is not an option or it is no longer a viable option. However, there should be no shame in deciding to separate and taking steps to end the relationship. Sadly, this is often not the case and parties may feel guilty about their decision to separate. This is usually the case where the decision is not a mutual one. It can also be where friends or family provide opinions in the place of support.

It’s often thought that it’s better to stay together for the sake of the children. On occasion, the pressure placed on a parent who has decided to end a relationship is unreasonable. It can become vitriolic, with accusations of abandonment and selfishness being thrown around.

This is unnecessary and it need never deteriorate to that extent. Even where one party does not wish to divorce or separate, the process can still be kept amicable.

Children, divorce and separation

Parents do have an obligation to provide for their children: to clothe them; feed them; love them. They do not have an obligation to provide children with a family situation where their parents remain together. This is particularly true if it is likely to have a negative impact on their childhood.

It’s for the parents to decide which course of action is best for the children. Would they benefit more from two happy homes than they would from parents that remain a couple.

Parenting experts believe there is a major risk that children will be harmed living with constantly arguing parents. They point to the anger, frustration and other negative behaviours associated with a failed relationship. This can harm the children’s development and affect their adult relationships in the future.

Parents will often state with certainty that the children are not exposed to such behaviours. However, research has shown that parents are unaware of the extent of their children’s exposure. Children usual see and hear far more than the parents realise.

Separation with effective co-parenting may also be a positive option for families where children will likely be affected.

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The divorce and separation process

Though the end result is usually positive for both parties, the divorce and separation process is not without its stress.

The process is structured and procedural from a legal point of view. The process can however, be incredibly unsettling for clients. This is particularly the case where they navigate their way through negotiations and arrangements to arrive at their ‘new normal’.

The key is to keep an open mind; engage with the negotiations; be willing to compromise to an extent. Don’t rush the process if there is no good reason to do so. It really is a marathon, not a sprint! This also helps things remain amicable. And this in turn makes for a much smoother process and a much happier end result for all parties.

How can we help?

At Nash & Co Solicitors, our aim is always to ensure the process is as smooth and as efficient as possible. At the same time, we’ll provide much-needed support during a stressful situation.

Our family lawyers are all members of Resolution. They’re an organisation committed to resolving family disputes in a constructive way. We follow their Code of Practise that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems. This is especially important where children are involved. Where this is the case, the parties will remain part of each other’s lives far beyond the lawyers’ involvement.  

Get in touch

Sadly you may have reached the conclusion that your relationship is over and you would like to discuss your options. In that case, our Family lawyers are here to help you. Please contact one of our lawyers on 01752 827030 or email us at [email protected]