Every separation is unique but the fact remains, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about things.
There are several things you and your spouse are able to do to make the divorce or separation process go as smoothly as possible.
Not Providing Accurate Financial Information
The fact is, finances are a central issue in a separation, especially where a couple are married. If you want your divorce to go as quickly and smoothly as possible, it’s vital that both parties provide accurate and honest information regarding their finances. Information about your assets, debts, income and a realistic budget that represents your marital lifestyle and potential future expenses generally all need to be shared as part of the process of sorting out the financial aspects of a divorce.
Not Putting Your Children First
It’s easy to say you’re putting your children first but sometimes it can be really difficult to do. It’s important to think about how your children might be feeling as a result of the separation and to offer them reassurance about the situation. Try not to lose sight of the bigger picture; battles over the small issues really may not be worth it in the long run. By putting your children’s best interests and needs above everything else, your family will benefit in the long run.
Letting Emotion Take Over
Divorce can be an emotional rollercoaster. There are so many things happening at once and it can sometimes be hard to know how and what you’re feeling. We always tell our clients to expect to experience a range of emotions, resentment, anger, grief and fear. This is normal and those emotions can sometimes last a considerable time after separation. It’s ok to feel this way and it’s normal. However, when it comes to discussions about children and money, it’s best to try and lay emotion to one side to some extent. If you’re struggling to do so, it might be worth considering additional support from a counsellor to help you through this difficult period and to help you gain clarity in order to make smarter decisions, not only for yourself but for your children.
Dwelling on The Past
If you are focusing too much on events and things that have already occurred, it’s a challenge to shift your mindset to focus on what’s currently happening and your future. Focusing on what is going to happen next in your life is key to making smart decisions about your and your children’s future.
Failing to Compromise
To reach an agreement, compromise and a bit of give and take are needed. This can be hard to do during a divorce as some might have the mentality of “my way or the highway” but this will only result in more frustration and conflict which is easily avoidable. It may feel sometimes like you are making all the compromises- but the other person probably feels like that too. It’s rare for someone to feel they have got everything they want from a separation. Being willing to compromise on some issues may make other issues easier to solve- meaning a quicker and more amicable solution can be reached.
By avoiding these 5 mistakes, you’re doing your best to ensure a difficult period is made a bit simpler for everyone. If you are in need of guidance or advice on divorce or children related matters, please do not hesitate to contact our teams in Cambridge or Norwich.
With the holiday period fast approaching, have you and your ex agreed what the children will be doing over Christmas?
Often, separated parents agree to alternate the immediate Christmas period each year, with children spending Christmas Eve night to Christmas day with one parent and then boxing day with the other on alternating years. This allows a child to enjoy Christmas morning with both their parents as they are growing up and allows parents to share in the joy too.
Other parents agree to share Christmas day so that their children have time with one parent in the morning and the other in the afternoon.
What do children want? Many children have a very simple and overwhelming sense of fairness which means they feel it is right for them to spend Christmas with each of their parents, alternating in one of the ways suggested above. But what children want most of all is the reassurance that whatever the arrangements are, their parents have agreed them and are not arguing about it.
What, in our experience are the most important things for parents to do when it comes to deciding the Christmas arrangements?
- Communicate suggestions and concerns well in advance. Don’t leave it to the last minute. We suggest arrangements should be agreed well in advance of your children finishing school for the Christmas break.
- Think about the logistics of where your children need to be and when- if there is a long journey between their parent’s homes, is it best for this to be done either side of the immediate Christmas period so that your children feel they have had a settled time with one of their parents.
- If you can’t agree, consider whether mediation might help you discuss opposing views and reach an agreement.
- Can you agree a pattern which works each year so that you can tell your children about this and they know what is going to happen every Chrsitmas.
For those who are newly divorced, the holidays can be a difficult time of the year.
Every year many former couples have to figure out how Christmas will be celebrated, especially if children are involved. It can be an immensely painful thing to do but at the same time, it’s an opportunity for new traditions and experience. There’s always a silver-lining, however, sometimes that’s easier said than done.
So, what can you do to survive Christmas? Here are some survival tips for the newly divorced:
Make a plan
What type of plan, you wonder? Make a list, of where you will be, with who, what you’ll be doing, what you’ll think about, and even what you won’t let yourself think about. The last two questions are especially important as you can easily get led on a path of melancholy and feeling sorry for yourself during the holiday period which no one wants to do. By making a plan and trying your best to follow it, you will be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
Surround yourself with friends and family
If for some reason you don’t know where you’ll be or with who, then start getting busy and make plans. If possible, surround yourself with people, help others cooking and prepping for Christmas or go to the movies, anything that requires your attention with other people involved. It’ll help you get your mind off the fact that it’s your first Christmas without your family and it’s a chance for you to have as much fun as you possibly can.
Begin new traditions
Since basically everything in your life is changing right now, including Christmas traditions. Spend some time thinking about what you can do this year that is completely new, different as well as fun. Making a list of things that will keep your mind busy and that can be enjoyable with your children is a great way of testing and creating new traditions and it’ll also help your children come to terms with the new family circumstances. It can be things from going to the cinema to playing bowling, think outside the box as well as you can come up with great things to do with your children.
Taking these steps will help you get through the Christmas period with less anxiety and worries and feel proud of yourself for being able to tackle such a tough period.
I’m a proud member of Resolution, a community of family justice professionals who work with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive way.
Resolution membership is about the approach I take to my work. This means that as a Resolution member, I will always seek to reduce or manage any conflict and confrontation, support and encourage families to put the best interests of any children first and act with honesty, integrity and objectivity.
I know from my 10 years working as a family law professional, that clients reach the best outcomes when they are helped to understand and manage the potential long-term financial and emotional consequences of decisions. This is why I use experience and knowledge to guide my clients through the options available to them.
As a Resolution member, I have signed up to a Code of Practice that will demonstrate to clients the approach I will always take. The Code promotes a constructive approach to family issues and considers the needs of the whole family, in particular the best interests of children.
If you decide to work with me, this means:
- Listening to you, being honest with you and treating you with respect.
- Explaining all the options and giving you confidence to make the right decisions.
- Helping you focus on what’s important in the long-term.
- Helping you balance financial and emotional costs with what you want to achieve.
- Working with others to find the right approach and the best solutions for you.
- Managing stress in what can be an already stressful situation.
Because I’m signed up to the Resolution Code, I work with a network of other like-minded professionals, including mediators, financial planners and family consultants, to make sure I’m helping my clients find the right approach for them.
Wanting to get a divorce from your husband or wife is never an easy decision but in some marriages, it can be inevitable. Here are a few important things to keep in mind on how to file for divorce from your partner.
If a divorce is the only option for you, you need to be married for at least a year and your relationship has to be permanently broken down. You must reside permanently in England and your marriage must also be legally recognized in the UK.
Arranging Your Own Divorce
This is a possible step and it can be done without involving solicitors in the process. If both parts agree that the marriage has broken down permanently, a court hearing won’t be necessary. The paperwork can be straightforward if both agree on the reasons for divorce.
You can also get mediation to help work out agreements with your husband or wife about property, money and your children. This can be very helpful to avoid going to court.
Grounds For Divorce
You are able to give 1 of the following 5 reasons for a divorce, the court calls these ‘facts’.
Your partner has had relations with someone else and you cannot bear to be with them anymore. This will need to be with someone else of the opposite sex of your husband or wife. It will not count as adultery if they have intercourse with someone of the same sex, this also includes if you are in a same-sex marriage.
This reason can, however, not be used if you have lived with your spouse for 6 months after you’ve found out about their adultery.
This ‘fact’ can be used if your wife or husband are behaving in such a way that living with them is quite difficult. They could be behaving in the following ways:
- Refusing to pay for housekeeping
- Drunkenness or drug-taking
- Physical Violence
- Verbal abuse, e.g. insults or threats
Your spouse has left you:
- For more than 2 years in the past 2.5 years
- To end your relationship
- Without your agreement
- Without good reason
You Have Not Lived Together For More Than 2 Years
This is a possibility if you have lived apart from each other more than 2 years and both parts agree to the divorce. The partner has to agree in writing.
You Have Lived Apart For More Than 5 Years
If you have lived away from each other for more than 5 years, that would be enough to get a divorce, even if your spouse does not agree with your decision.
Filing For Divorce
Paperwork needs to be filled for a divorce petition to start the actual divorce, the D8 Divorce form can be found online on the UK Government website, alternatively, you can obtain the form from your local county court office.
The cost of a divorce will vary greatly for each couple but there is a £550 fee to pay when starting the divorce procedure. You will need to pay the divorce centre when sending in the filled in forms. If you have hired a family law solicitor, your costs will also include their fees.
If you are in need of guidance or advice on divorce or children related matters, please do not hesitate to contact our teams in Cambridge or Norwich.