Start Planning now to Get Divorced After Christmas

The fact that we specialise in family law means that we’re used to advising clients dealing with highly emotional life events. We can help clients to cope with the stress of issues such as wills and probate and adoption, at the same time as offering first rate, up to the minute legal advice. We know from experience that many people at this time of year feel that the time has come to put an end to a marriage, but decide to delay things for a while and get divorced after Christmas. Despite the fact that you may opt to wait until after the festive season to actually start official proceedings, if you want to get divorced after Christmas things are likely to run more smoothly if you start planning as soon as possible.

The reasons for waiting to get divorced after Christmas could range from wanting to protect any children – particularly younger children – until after they’ve enjoyed Christmas, to avoiding awkward questions over the turkey and roast potatoes. Whatever the reasons are for wanting to get a divorce, putting things in place before the end of the year can help to ensure that things runs as smoothly as possible. Since April of this year it has been possible to access a no fault divorce, meaning that it is possible to get a divorce without having to come up with grounds for divorce such as adultery or unreasonable behaviour. 

The clichéd image of a divorcing couple may be of two people who are completely at war with each other in a state of anger and bitterness and need to have their differences settled by the courts. The reality for many wanting to get divorced after Christmas, however, is that they have come to a decision that the relationship isn’t working any longer and want to get on with the rest of their lives, having ended the marriage as calmly and smoothly as possible.        

The first piece of advice we would give to couples wanting to get divorced after Christmas is that they should try to agree on as many aspects of the divorce as they can. The actual process is set out in legal terms, but the arrangements between particular couples on issues such as the welfare of children and the joint finances of the couple are in the hands of the couple themselves. In those cases where agreements on issues such as these can’t be reached,  a court will need to be asked to decide things fairly, and when we advise divorcing couples we always recommend avoiding the stress, time and expense of court appearances as much as completely as possible. 

Our first piece of specific advice to any couple who want to get divorced after Christmas would be for them to work through a process of mediation. Some people imagine that mediation means attempting to persuade a couple to stay together, but the truth is that it is a means of opening up a space for them to work through the issues they need at agree on in a calm environment and reach a fair agreement.  

The advent of fault free divorces means that the process of aiming to get divorced after Christmas is relatively simple, and involves filing papers such as the initial application and then gaining a ‘conditional order’ followed by a ‘final order’, which is the point at which the divorce becomes official. Although the process is simple, the experts at Higgins Miller will work with you to ensure that each piece of paperwork is filled in correctly and filed with the right court or divorce centre. What may be more complex is the process of agreeing on how children should be cared for and the handling of financial matters which are currently dealt with jointly. We’ll work with any couple wishing to get divorced after Christmas to come to an amicable agreement on questions such as:

• Meeting the cost of household bills following the divorce

• Who will live in the existing family home after the divorce, whether it will have to be sold and what will happen to the proceeds if so

• How any outstanding joint debts will be settled

• How jointly held assets such as investments, stocks and shares 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 to any children in the future and how much it will be if so

In the majority of cases a divorcing couple can be expected to put the welfare of their children first, particularly if they are waiting to get divorced after Christmas for the sake of those children. We work with divorcing couples without thinking of them as winners and losers in terms of their finances, as this tends to cause conflict on other issues. Our approach to anyone wanting to get divorced after Christmas is to encourage them to reach agreements as widely as possible, and to set out those agreements in legally watertight written terms. 

If you want to ask about how to get divorced 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.