Monday, January 8th has been branded ‘Divorce Day’ as many unhappy couples who thought ‘we’ll just get through Christmas…’ take the first Monday back at work after New Year’s as their cue to commence proceedings.
There are many reasons why early January is the time couples choose to separate, from the added financial and family stresses of the festive period, to the extra time spent together over the holidays, or just a desire to make a fresh start as a new year gets underway.
In many cases, divorce lawyers report a surge in applications even in the morning of the first working Monday, a sign that couples are keen not to waste any more time.
But far from being a spur of the moment decision, for the vast majority of couples divorce has been a long time coming – so there is every reason to get it right, and hopefully reduce the stress of separation, the financial impact of divorce, and perhaps even remain amicable with your ex in the months and years ahead.
As a third party acting in everyone’s best interests, mediators can help to smooth over any disagreements, rather than taking the combative approach that you will see from many divorce lawyers.
Mediators can offer compassion when it is needed, but our wealth of experience in dealing with divorce means we can also be pragmatic to come up with solutions and appropriate compromises so everybody gets a final deal that is as close as possible to what they want.
Divorcing with dignity has become a watchword for mediators everywhere, as the profession already seeks to make divorce a faster, less stressful process for all concerned, while ensuring all affected parties, including children, have a voice in the proceedings.
Splitting up the family finances and assets can have a direct impact on your personal lifestyle, as two individual lifestyles inevitably cost more than running a single household, while constraints on your visitation rights with your own children can be upsetting too.
For this reason, mediation to make a more amicable resolution on such issues can help to move things along and leave you with a long-term arrangement for the future that allows you to live comfortably and see your children more flexibly – ensuring that you do not miss out on birthdays and other family events, for instance.
If you are commencing proceedings on Divorce Day, know that you are not alone. There are many other couples in the same circumstances – more than on any other day of the year – and mediators are here to help everyone to navigate the turbulent waters of divorce.
Finally on a purely practical note, a surge in applications can mean the family courts are even busier with divorce cases than usual, so if you are keen to make good progress, enlist a mediator to help you organise your case and draw up an agreement with your spouse, and it should be easier and faster to have a court finalise your divorce so that you can both move on as early in 2018 as possible.