There’s been a lot of talk in the last week about so called ‘divorce week’ – the busiest week of the year for us family lawyers. Personally, I don’t think this is something to highlight. It’s like cheering when your team loses at football.
This week is sadly “celebrated” every year now, though there is still some disagreement over exactly which week is the busiest. Could we not use this spotlight though for the good, to highlight some lesser known things about divorce to help couples in crisis?
What about highlighting things people don’t know about divorce while we have a certain amount of media and potential client focus on us. Would this not be more useful?
The start of a New Year historically sees an influx of new clients making contact with us family lawyers to start off the divorce process. One of the first steps for a lawyer is discuss and consider the reasons for the relationship breakdown so that the necessary paperwork can be prepared. As family lawyers, we’re quite used to hearing reasons varying from infidelity, verbal and physical abuse right through to a lack of compassion, love and affection being demonstrated by one party to the other. After 20 odd years of practice, having heard some very unusual, and sometimes quite ridiculous, reasons, I honestly didn’t think there were any I hadn’t heard.
As divorce lawyers, we deal with people at a tough time in their life. I’m always on the lookout for advice that will help make a divorce better for all parties involved and whilst listening to an interesting piece on the radio the other day I starting thinking about the way that people approach their divorce and how their mindset can often have such a significant impact on the outcome.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics at the end of 2016 show that the likelihood of marriage ending in divorce has dropped to its lowest level in forty years. The figures show that in 2014 less than one couple in every 100 married couples split. Reason to celebrate you might think? Perhaps couples are getting on better and not separating? Dig deeper into the statistics however and you realise the news isn’t all good.
I smiled, wryly the other day at the cartoon in the Times of the divorce lawyer typing his seasonal email to his client: “We hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family, full of joy and family togetherness … but just in case, we offer an excellent advice package on divorce at very competitive rates…”