Why January is known as ‘Divorce Month’
For family lawyers, January is known as ‘Divorce Month’. The reason behind this is by and large the preceding holiday period. Either couples wish to spend one last Christmas or New Year period as a family before taking the step towards dissolving the marriage or the holidays act to exacerbate and highlight underlying tensions and difficulties which get brought to the fore.
Either way, couples tend to allow the festive period to lapse prior to making any permanent decisions in relation to the future of the relationship. A couple already struggling in a marriage may be prompted to re-evaluate the decision to continue as part of the reflective process that comes with the advent of the new year. There is the added advantage of children in school being able to finish off the school year before any potential relocation as result of divorce takes place.
Another time-based incentive for issuing divorce proceedings in the new year is the reluctance to share any bonus dividends that may be expected later that year.
Regardless of the reason why the decision to divorce has been taken or whether it is reciprocated, the process can be made bearable and even civil if both parties recognise the fact that there are significant issues at play which need to be addressed rather than ignored.
Some parties delay taking the step to divorce as they fear being labelled selfish and do not wish to bear the brunt of the party to dissolve the family unit. This goes hand in hand with the reluctance to prioritise personal wellbeing and one’s happiness first at the risk of upsetting or disrupting others.
The stigma attached to the divorce procedure is lessening and more and more, parties are able to reach an amicable and conflict free resolution to the marriage, as long as they are both on the same page and are willing to facilitate the process to the best of their abilities.
It is never in parties’ best interests to engage in protracted and adversarial litigation where the divorce process is concerned, adding to time and costs involved. To that effect, lawyer led negotiations, mediation and round table conferences are preferred sources of alternative dispute resolution in family cases, with most jurisdictions around the world not allowing parties to issue court proceedings unless these have been at least attempted.
It is highly recommended to consult with family lawyers practising in the jurisdiction of choice for the divorce to ascertain the options available with the divorce process, whether there are children involved or not. If there are no children involved, it is recommended that parties channel their energies and resources in obtaining a financial clean break from each other. If it is the case that there are children of the family, the issue of their ongoing maintenance will also be up for discussion and negotiation.
Notwithstanding the above, a timely consultation with family lawyers can also manage the temptation to issue proceedings hastily which can potentially lead to over generous offers being made on either side, setting the negotiation bar too high in the first instance.
Where children are involved, their best interests will always be served when parties are working together to reach agreement in matters relating to post divorce life and even when there are no children of the family involved, every effort should be made to part amicably insofar as is possible.
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