Peppy Griffiths, family lawyer and mediator at Humphries Kirk explains …

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics estimate that 42 per cent of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce.

But why is the New Year the busiest period for family lawyers, with a record number of clients seeking information on relationship breakdown, or wishing to issue divorce?

The reality is that many relationships are not entirely compatible and resentments or dissatisfactions simmer below the surface. Add to this mix Christmas and the ‘overs’ (over-spending, over-eating, over-indulging, over-dose of family and relations) and being cooped up in the same space for the extended holidays and something has to give.

By January thoughts are turning towards ‘New Year, new life’ and the decision to do something that may have been considered for some time.

Nowadays there is so much more information readily available on the internet, however it’s not a replacement for the personal touch that a meeting with a lawyer can provide. Your solicitor can offer understanding, empathy and an explanation to the legal options in a clear manner.

Knowing how to obtain a divorce, what the consequences are, how the children will be cared for, what will happen to your home and many more concerns and worries are all questions that Humphries Kirk specialise in.

Meeting the housing needs of both parties, sharing assets and liabilities, looking at income needs and the longer term pension provision is different in every case. Unravelling the finances, considering options, negotiating and achieving solutions can some times appear to be straightforward, but more often than not, without legal advice and assistance there is a real risk important consequences can be overlooked or missed.

The options to deal with relationship breakdowns have also changed in recent years. Nowadays the attitudes of the government, courts, judges and lawyers have really altered. Everyone is much more aware of the damage of acrimony and many couples are trying to deal with their separation in a fairer way.

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