According to the Office for National Statistics, less people are getting married now than they were 60 years ago, but more people are getting divorced. The data shows that in 1961, 68% of people aged over 16 were married, whilst just 0.8% were divorced. In 2011, the National Census showed that 49% of people aged over 16 were married on in a civil partnership, and 9% were either divorced or in a dissolved civil partnership. It is anticipated that the trend of less people getting married but more people getting divorced will continue.
For many, getting divorced can be a difficult, upsetting and an emotional experience, though choosing a good family lawyer, and trying to resolve matters amicably can allow for divorcing couples to separate as swiftly and fairly as possible.
Here are 10 top tips for an amicable divorce/dissolution of civil partnership:
- Seek advice from a specialist family law solicitor. Family law can be very complex, so it is important to instruct a family solicitor, early on, who has a good working knowledge of the law.
- If you have children together, it is important to respect the other person in their capacity as your child’s parent. Avoid speaking negatively about your spouse in the presence of your children and try to support and encourage contact and communication between your children and the other parent.
- Understand that divorce is not about winning or losing, and you are going to need to compromise so that you can both live independently of each other.
- If appropriate, try to maintain an open dialogue with your spouse. Where certain matters can be resolved without the assistance of lawyers, try and have these discussions together – this might include returning to the property to collect post and personal belongings, the care of pets or dealing with home maintenance.
- If appropriate, try to resolve issues at mediation with a family trained mediator. Mediation is a process where the divorcing couple meet with a mutually selected impartial and neutral person who assists them in the negotiation of their differences.
- Keep the details of your divorce private. During the divorce, private and confidential information will be considered, and information about assets, liabilities, employment, children, and relationships will be looked at. Avoid discussing this information with anyone else and do not share details on social media.
- Organise your finances. Financial disclosure is a key part of the divorce process, and it will save time and costs if you keep your finances organised.
- Consider your divorce like a business transaction and try to avoid the emotional aspect of the divorce interfering with negotiations and reaching a financial settlement. Seek therapy and counselling should you need emotional support and advice about your mental health and wellbeing.
- If either of you have met new partners and formed new relationships, try to respect this, and don’t let this interfere with your negotiations or efforts in trying to reach a financial settlement.
- Ask questions! Divorce is like an onion – there are lots of layers to it. If you do not understand something, ask your solicitor for more information! This is your divorce, and you need to understand what is going on.
The family law team at Debenhams Ottaway are here to help you through the process of divorce and the dissolution of civil partnerships.
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.