New Year, New Spouse? – Divorce Enquiries Surge After Christmas Holidays

The decorations are packed away for another year, we’re back at work after the holidays, New Year resolutions have probably been broken along with toys and Christmas presents. However, one of the more unpleasant side effects of all that festive family fun, apart from those extra pounds around the waistline and fewer pounds in your pocket is that this is the time of year when divorce enquiries soar.

While Britain already has the dubious title of having the highest divorce rate in the EU, enforced family intimacy over Christmas has an unfortunate habit of making many married couples decide they can no longer bear to be with their partner. While few have the luxury of Gwyneth Paltrow’s and Chris Martin’s infamous multi million dollar ‘conscious uncoupling’, according to the Office of National Statistics one in five married couples are considering separation after the holiday season.

To assist those people who may be facing difficult decisions that will affect not only their own lives but also those of their families, Pictons is launching an initiative by offering free consultations on Monday 19th January, in its offices in Luton, Hemel Hempstead, Tring and Milton Keynes between 12noon- 7pm.

Sukh Saini, Managing Partner at leading regional law firm Pictons says “At this time of year we often see double the number of enquiries in our Family Law department about divorce. Sometimes the enquiries begin to spike upwards even before the end of the year, immediately after Christmas Day.

“However, it’s not all doom and gloom for marriages. Many people enquire without actually initiating proceedings although others sadly believe their marriage has reached the end of the line.”

Members of the public will be able to drop by any of the offices based in Luton, Hemel Hempstead, Tring and Milton Keynes and have a totally free appointment with a professional advisor with whom they can discuss their concerns and options.

Siobhan Rooney, a Partner at Pictons who specialises in Family Law is also a qualified Mediator. She says “While legal advice is often needed in divorce cases and occasionally these end up in court, I would almost always recommend some form of mediation as the first step in a separation or divorce procedure. Mediation is a voluntary process whereby a couple are given the opportunity to try and resolve issues that arise as a result of their separation, with the assistance of an impartial third party, a mediator like me or a qualified outside person.

“Decisions reached in mediation can be discussed with another solicitor and, subject to their advice, can be made legally binding. We are helping people to potentially save thousands of pounds on court costs and greatly reduce the heartbreak and impact where children are concerned.”

Statistics show that agreements reached through mediation are more likely to work and it is now official that, in most family law cases, the parties are required to have a meeting to at least learn about the mediation process before approaching the courts for help.

Siobhan concludes ”At Pictons we are well aware of how emotionally challenging the effects of a relationship breakdown can be, whether it’s between spouses, cohabiting partners or same sex civil partners. Our initiative on January 19th is to really help people to make the right decisions for their future.”

If you would like to make an appointment rather than drop by or just make an enquiry please call us on 0845 263 7505 or to email us click here

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