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Research suggests that just 8% of people stick to their New Years resolutions.

Some people make resolutions that they will lose weight, join the gym, spend less money each month or change their career. Unfortunately for some, the Christmas period hasn't brought them the joyous time with their family that they hoped and they may make a resolution to start the divorce process and "break free" of their unhappiness.

‘Divorce Day’ is a day on which law firms see a noticeable increase in people enquiring about divorce and wishing to initiate the process. It usually falls on the first Monday of the New Year as it is thought that people view the new year as a chance for new beginnings and a fresh start.

We have listed some top tips on how to get through a divorce amicably and as little emotional strain as possible.

  1. Focus on the bigger picture and try to have a positive mental attitude
    Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process. If you feel overwhelmed, it is important to try and keep your end goal in mind. The end goal will differ from person to person but an amicable resolution should be your focus throughout.
  2. Stay away from Social Media
    Posting about your divorce or your former spouse on social media will heighten tensions between you. Family proceedings are also confidential and so you must be mindful not to commit any breach of confidentiality by posting anything on social media.
  3. Focus on your children
    If you have children, try to make them your main focus. It is important that you do not discuss the proceedings with them or any actions of your former spouse, as remember they are their parent too and the children will likely continue to have a relationship with them after separation. Children can be a great distraction throughout the proceedings.
  4. Seek legal advice
    It is imperative to know your rights in relation to divorce and is of course beneficial to have the procedure explained to you by an expert. Many firms offer a free consultation which is invaluable for initial advice. Make sure that you make your first appointment worthwhile by preparing a list of questions you may have in advance, taking notes in the meeting and bringing as much information with you as you can in relation to your assets and the joint assets of the marriage. Your Solicitor will help you reach an agreement and resolution through collaborative and amicable correspondence.
  5. Address the financial consequences of the marriage breakdown
    Obtaining a divorce alone does not deal with the issue of matrimonial finances and joint assets. A Solicitor would always strongly advise that you reach an agreement with your former spouse and that this be made legally binding. If no legally binding agreement is reached, your former spouse could have a claim against your pension or your estate upon death.
  6. Engage in Court alternatives
    Issuing Court proceedings can heighten tensions between the parties so firstly try alternatives such as Mediation, Round Table Meetings, Arbitration and Collaborative law. These Court alternatives are likely to reach a more beneficial outcome for both parties, rather than a decision being made by a Judge which ultimately neither party may be happy with.
  7. Be willing to compromise
    It is much more beneficial for both parties (and children) if you can reach an agreement without having to issue Court proceedings. Although it may be hard, compromising at this stage will be extremely beneficial in the long-term, particularly if you hope to maintain an amicable relationship with your former spouse (particularly if children are involved).
  8. Take time out for yourself
    It’s not hard to get caught up in the whirlwind with so many life changes but it is important to remember to look after yourself. Take time out to exercise, catch up with friends and family and do whatever makes you happy.
  9. Make arrangements for children
    Having an arrangement from the outset will help give the children stability throughout the process. In addition, having an agreement at the start of the procedure will mean that it would not need to be discussed throughout/after the divorce proceedings. You can speak to your Solicitor if you wish to make the agreement legally binding.
  10. Seek emotional support if you need it
    Whether you feel you need emotional support for yourself or perhaps specialist advice of how to explain the separation to your children, there are numerous family support services that can assist you, should you require.

If you would like more information on the issues raised in this article or any aspect of Family Law please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly family law team to arrange a free 30 minute consultation. Call us free on 08000 147720 or send us an email to book a free information session at any of our offices. We also offer early morning and late evening appointments across our offices.