Planning For a Divorce after Christmas

If you have children and are planning a divorce then the welfare of those children is likely to be at the forefront of your mind. It’s for this reason that many couples who have decided that their relationship has come to an end opt to plan for a divorce after Christmas. Here at Higgins Miller, we specialise in family law, dealing with matters such as children disputes, domestic abuse and adoption, so we understand how emotional some legal issues can become. The end of a relationship is clearly an example of this, and waiting to divorce after Christmas could be a way of avoiding difficult and upsetting questions over the festive period, giving younger children in particular a Christmas to enjoy before breaking the news of the divorce to them. 

Planning a divorce after Christmas doesn’t mean doing nothing at all about the situation before Christmas, of course, and the more planning you put into your divorce after Christmas, the less stressful and more positive the outcome is likely to be. The idea of a ‘positive divorce’ may sound like a contradiction in terms, but our experience has shown us that many of the couples likely to be opting for divorce after Christmas are still actually on relatively friendly terms. Having delayed their actions and opted for a divorce after Christmas for the sake of their children, they are likely to try and arrange the details of their divorce after Christmas with the same consideration. 

In simple terms, a couple in this situation have reached the conclusion that the relationship isn’t working any more, and now wish to deal with the practicalities of a divorce after Christmas in a manner which delivers the best possible results for all the parties involved. 

Our first piece of advice to any couple planning a divorce after Christmas would be for them to reach agreement on as many aspects of the divorce as possible. There are legal issues to think about when arranging a divorce after Christmas – and these are the reason why working with experts like those at Higgins Miller is so important – but the truth of the matter is that many of the aspects of the divorce, and of the arrangements which will apply once the relationship has been officially ended, are firmly in the hands of the couple in question. These include the welfare of the children involved and the impact of the divorce after Christmas on the finances of each partner, and while these issues can be settled in court if an agreement isn’t possible, we always try to keep our clients out of court and reach an agreement calmly, as this involves much less stress, time and expense. 

The first piece of advice we give to clients seeking a divorce after Christmas is to work through the process of mediation. There is often a belief that meditation during the divorce process involves someone trying to persuade the couple not to actually get divorced after Christmas, but this is mistaken. What mediation actually involves is creating a space – facilitated by a professional mediator – in which a couple can work through the issues which they need to deal with in a clam and amicable manner and hopefully reach an agreement which is fair for all parties. 

Since April of this year it has been possible for couples in the UK looking to get divorced after Christmas to do so through a no-fault divorce, something which has removed much of the complexity and conflict from the process. Rather than the divorce after Christmas being based on the idea of one partner being ‘at fault’ in some way- through something such as adultery or unreasonable behaviour – it can now be based on a mutual agreement to end the relationship, something which makes it much easier for the mediator to guide clients through the process and agree on as many aspects of the divorce after Christmas as possible. The mediator helping a couple to work through a no-fault divorce after Christmas will offer impartial guidance, acting as a sounding board and a buffer between the parties when discussing issues such as the welfare of the children and the financial aspects of the agreement. 

Once a couple have agreed to a divorce after Christmas the process is relatively simple, involving either a joint application, or a sole application which the other party is not able to contest. Twenty weeks after the application has been made a Conditional order will be made by the court if the parties still wish to go ahead, followed by the Final order – the official ending of the marriage or civil partnership – 6 weeks later. Filling in the paperwork involved is relatively simple, but the experts at Higgins Miller will work with you to make sure that no mistakes are made with regard to the content of the applications and the court or divorce centre with which each document is filed. 

Our experts will be even more useful during a divorce after Christmas when it comes to helping you come to amicable agreement on issues such as the following:

  • How the household bills will be paid following the divorce after Christmas 
  • Which partner will live in the family home following the divorce after Christmas and what will happen if the home needs to be sold
  • How any outstanding debts will be dealt with
  • How assets such as stocks and shares, investments and savings will be divided
  • How items which have been purchased jointly – such as furniture, motor vehicles and works of art will be divided
  • Whether maintenance will be paid for any children involved in the future, and how much that maintenance will be

If a couple have adopted to divorce after Christmas in order to protect their children then it’s probably safe to assume that the divorcing couple will put the welfare of those children front and centre when negotiating an agreement. Our role as experts in the field will be able to guide the clients we deal with through their negotiations, explaining what is fair or unfair, and outlining their rights and responsibilities. Rather than treating couples who opt for divorce after Christmas as winners or losers in a battle, we try to create a calm environment in which agreement is far easier to reach.       
If you’d like to find out more about a divorce after Christmas please call us on 0161 429 7251 or email us at [email protected]. We’ve recently passed our Cyber Essential accreditation, something which demonstrates our forward-thinking attitude and determination to remain ahead of the competition. The first 20-minute appraisal is provided free of charge, and we’ll give you the first appointment for a fixed fee, so you don’t have to worry about how much our advice is going to cost. If you want to explore our wider charging system then please take a look here.

divorce after christmas