Come January, like Gym memberships, the number of people signing up to instruct solicitors in separation and divorce matters increases significantly.
Out with the old and in with the new can sometimes lead to spouses making a New Years resolution to end their unhappy relationship. Perhaps it's because we are locked down for at least a few days with each other, and the in laws are being forced to be happy amongst unwanted Christmas presents and TV repeats?! Whatever the reason, this time of year results in many seeking legal advice in the first few weeks of January.
Believe it or not, a competent lawyer has a duty to ensure the marriage/relationship has come to an end with no prospect of reconciliation - or to use fancy lawyer spiel...it needs to have "broken down irretrievably
". Only then should the diligent Family Law Solicitor take instruction to contact the other spouse and suggest negotiating towards care arrangements for the children and/or financial division of property having accrued during the period of marriage.
An initial consultation need not be like a Dentist's appointment; a necessary anxiety. Indeed, it can put paid to many misconceptions about ending a relationship and it does not necessarily follow that the solicitor needs to act and contact the other party. It is driven and should always be driven by the client.
Therefore, this Hogmany when you are fireside with your choice of tipple to bring in 2015, a long time coming resolution to end an unhappy relationship should not be clouded by the fear of taking a step towards involving big, bad, greedy lawyers. Some of us have compassion and are sensitive to our clients' worries and concerns!
Many of our clients in January only need some general advice and a guiding hand through what his or her legal rights and remedies are when a marriage breaks down. In fact some go away comforted and reassured that even if they do decide to give it one last try, that they can in the knowledge they know what is involved should they decide to separate.
Happy New Year!