January 2018 has started and the “Happy New Years’ are just about over. The celebrations of the festive season are a distant memory and we are all getting on with normal life – even if the dismal weather and dark mornings and evenings make it a little gloomier. Or are we?
January – the start of a new life?
For some people, January might hail the start of something other than just a new year – a new life. January has been known as ‘divorce month’ for sometime. Research shows that more people contact a divorce and separation specialist in January than any other month (closely followed by the period immediately after the summer holidays). Google also reports that more people search online for ‘divorce lawyer’ and ‘file for divorce’ than at any other time during the year.
It’s probably not that surprising, as the Christmas and New Year period can be a very stressful time for couples whose relationship is already experiencing difficulty. The extra pressure put on them from the need to celebrate, party or even just to ‘appear together’ can be tremendous. Add to that money issues, family – and the ever nagging ‘need to stay together for the children’ and the bubble is just waiting to burst. Some unhappy couples decide they just can’t go on and it is time to think about themselves, their children and their future – and take advice from an expert. Not everyone wants to take the court route, however, and more and more couples are now recognising that mediation is a better choice for everyone concerned.
Open discussions at individual meetings
In mediation, couples can openly discuss issues with a highly experienced, independent mediator who can help them make sensible decisions, based around their own circumstances, about hugely important issues such as their children and finances. This leaves the couple in complete control of these decisions, rather than leaving it to the courts and judges, and keeping this sort of control often means that the divorce can be quicker – and often less costly – than taking the litigious route. Read about how mediation helped Joe and Hannah sort out issues surrounding their children.
Family matters director Alison Mcillroy said “We understand this is a difficult time and at Family Matters the first appointment for everyone is on their own. At this meeting you can find out about us and we can talk to you about your options following the decision to separate or divorce.”
Trained mediators help children during divorce and separation
The decision to separate or divorce can come as a shock for children – especially if they have just spent a seemingly happy family Christmas, and they are bound to be worried about what is going to happen to them – and to their parents when they separate. Mediators are trained and experienced in helping families find the best solutions and there are some, such as those at Family Matters, who are trained to work specifically with children, as child consultants, making sure that their own concerns are voiced and taken into consideration.
As mediation can only be entered into if both partners are willing to do so, it can be less stressful than litigation and help avoid conflict, allowing the whole process to be more ‘constructive’ and the couple to maintain a more positive relationship after the divorce – and that can only be good for them and their children.
Professional and practical help from trained mediators
So if you’ve decided that January is a time to look forward, and that means separation or divorce, make sure you take the right route for you. If you’re looking for professional and practical help and advice that can let you get on with your life without the cost and stress of a court case, then mediation will work for you. Contact us now to arrange an independent meeting with one of our mediators at our highly regarded practice. Remember legal aid is still available for mediation in some cases and we are happy to discuss that with you.