Divorce and separation peaks in January

Following the Christmas festivities, sadly it is common for Steeles Law's family team to receive an increased number of new enquiries from spouses or partners requiring advice in relation to divorce or separation at this time of year.

This trend appears to be attributable to the fact that Christmas is a trigger for spouses or partners who feel that they cannot continue with the relationship any longer, although generally separation is something that couples might have been contemplating for quite a while beforehand.

Often couples will have spent two weeks at home together during the Christmas and New Year period, which is often the only time of the year that so much time is spent together. There can then be the added stress of many family gatherings with relatives having stayed overnight, sometimes for days. There are also additional strains of office parties and lots of alcohol consumption which can all play a part if there are already problems in a relationship.

Some clients see the start of a New Year as a symbol of a fresh start and often couples already considering separation will decide that they will wait until the New Year before they take any action which suggests that the rise in separation at this time of year is not just down to the festivities.

Looking back over divorce petitions issued during 2012, our family team has noted that interestingly the most common dates stated as being the date of separation are either 31 December or 1 January.

Amanda Owens, head of our family team, commented that the current recession is creating additional pressure for couples and can also influence their decision on whether or not to separate. “We have seen an increasing number of couples who have delayed separation due to falling values in property prices and other investments”.

She further commented that couples are also increasingly trying to reduce the costs of resolving their problems by dealing with their own divorce or dissolution as well as seeing an increased number of couples willing to consider mediation.

In order to address some of the concerns held by clients, Steeles Law has recently launched fixed fees, which help to provide certainty as to the cost of a divorce or dissolution. The costs of the fixed fee divorce start from £450 plus VAT.

In addition to this, Steeles Law is also offering fixed fees dealing with the related financial settlement.

Unfortunately separation is not easy at any time of the year, however at Steeles Law our family team strives to help you deal with the issues in an empathetic and timely manner and in the most cost effective way for our clients as possible.

If you are considering divorce, dissolution or separation the outcome always depends on the circumstances of each case and therefore we would urge anyone about to embark on this to seek independent legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

For further information visit www.steeleslaw.co.uk, or to arrange for a fixed fee appointment with one of our practitioners, please email family@steeleslaw.co.uk or telephone 01603 598000.

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