You can go your own way – separation or divorce?
Christmas is coming, and for some couples sadly, the strain of the holiday period forces their relationship to breaking point. According to the Office for National Statistics, divorce rates rise significantly after Christmas. Evidence from legal firms around the country suggests that twice as many couple start divorce proceedings in January than any other month. Contributing factors could be the strain of spending so much time together over the Christmas holidays, or that many people who want to divorce will actually wait until after Christmas to avoid upsetting their families.
So, if you feel your relationship is ending and you wish to split up with as little disruption to your family as possible, what other options are open to you?
Mediation & Collaborative Law
Mediation is simply getting together on neutral territory with a mediator and talking through the range of issues affecting you and your family. Mediation is not marriage counselling or therapy, it’s a way to find practical and workable solutions, guided by an experienced mediator with knowledge of family law.
Mediation helps both parties take a holistic view of the whole situation from a less emotional standpoint, to find a way forward that is less acrimonious and (ultimately) less costly to all involved. Collaborative law is the process whereby you can both formulate a legal agreement with your lawyers without the need for court proceedings.
If you wish to separate but not end your marriage, there will still be many issues to resolve, including division of financial assets or arrangements regarding children. At LGFL, we can help you draw up a Separation Agreement that lays down what you have agreed, and offer you a degree of protection against future changes.
We can also help with interim arrangements should you need more time to assess your future. This applies equally to unmarried partners, particularly as unmarried couples do not have the same protection under law as married couples or civil partners.
Where divorce is not culturally or religiously appropriate, a judicial separation allows couples to remain married without the usual obligation, or shared assets.
For more information, or to discuss your particular situation or requirements, do give us a call, or send us an email.