Family Matters

Your monthly family law digest from Woolley & Co, Solicitors


December 2016

Christmas family stress

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…”

In Brief

Why the fall in the rate of divorce isn’t all good news

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...
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Did ‘Good Divorce Week’ initiative have any impact?

No fault divorce is something that we have advocated for some time at Woolley & Co. We were therefore delighted to lend our support to the Resolution campaign last week calling for a change in legislation to allow people to...
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Divorce & adultery: financial punishments & misconceptions

As divorce solicitors, we receive many enquiries from individuals wanting to bring a divorce on the grounds of adultery. A relatively small number however, are granted for this reason. So, is using adultery as a reason for divorce the best...
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Family lawyers taking sides

People in the legal profession have a bit of a bad reputation. Perhaps Shakespeare started it 500 years ago in Henry VI Part 2 when ‘Dick the Butcher’ suggested that to improve the country - ‘The First thing we...
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Should there be more openness in family law cases?

Comedian David Walliams and his ex-wife Lara Stone should be applauded for finally reaching a financial settlement after their divorce. Despite their separation being finalised a year ago, they continued to disagree on the settlement forcing the case into the...
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The festive season is a stressful time of year for a lot of people and it can push fragile relationships over the edge. Maybe that’s why January is such a busy time of year for us divorce lawyers. With that in mind, and based on my 20 plus years’ experience in the field I’ve put together a few thoughts on things to think through before rushing to the phone and talking a divorce lawyer.

Think first – act later 

I know it sounds like common sense but we can all be guilty of not really thinking through the consequences of our actions. For example, the angry client who rants and raves to their lawyer and then demands they send out an extremely aggressive letter to their spouse immediately.This is not a helpful way to start the divorce process and before you know it court proceedings are issued and a Judge is having to determine what is best for the children or how the assets should be divided which nine times out of ten is not what either party wanted.     

Keep the children out of it

It is understandable you may wish to discuss the situation with your children, particularly if you feel you have been wronged. However, you need to remember that they are the innocent party in these matters and they shouldn’t be caught in the middle of the arguments. Of course, you should tell them that there is going to be a change in their circumstances but reassure them that you are both doing everything possible to agree arrangements and that you will of course always be there for them.

Get proper advice 

Too often I speak to people who have been advised by well-meaning friends or family who have been through a divorce or relationship breakdown. They decide that that advice is correct and believe what they have been told. Misinformation and misunderstanding can add to the distress felt. Every relationship is different and you need to be advised on the legal position for your set of circumstances. It’s essential therefore that you seek out a family law specialist and get accurate, professional advice. With proper advice, you will make better decisions, being open to negotiation if a reasonable offer is received or standing firm if your rights are being ignored.

Don’t ignore your emotions 

Talking to a trained health professional or counsellor about the changes that are occurring in your life may help. Too often people decide to keep their feelings inside and try to cope.  Not only does this impact on your health and may also hindering any new relationship, it will also affect your ability to make decisions and understand the advice your lawyer is giving you. Your lawyer is not the right person to give you counselling, but they may be able to suggest someone who can help you through this difficult time.

For most the festive season is one full of family and fun, but for anyone in a difficult relationship I hope these thought help and that if you are in a difficult relationship at the moment you find some peace and tranquillity during the festive season.


Family lawyers at Woolley & Co


Woolley & Co, Solicitors
Warwick Enterprise Park,
Warwick CV35 9EF
Call 0800 321 3832
Mobile 0330 330 3832
Outside UK +44 (0)1789 330310     

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