When a summer break provokes a split

Jane Cowley, Family Law PartnerSummer holidays can spell the end of strained marriages, but whatever time of year marriage breakdown occurs, there are ways to make divorce the least painful and protracted as possible. Jane Cowley, Family Law Partner and Head of the East Midlands Private Client Group at Howes Percival LLP, answers a common question.

Q:

I’m just back from our annual summer holiday and, after having time to talk, my husband and I agreed to split. I’m very apprehensive of divorce as I’ve heard from friends how emotionally painful it can be. What should we do to make this less traumatic than I fear it will be?

A:

Sadly, although Summer and Christmas might be at opposite ends of the year, both can be particularly fraught for families in difficulties, and can often prove to be a catalyst leading to family and relationship separation.

A special holiday, whether it be during the Summer period or any other time, naturally brings with it high expectations of relaxation, enjoyment and contentment. If there is existing friction within a relationship however, these expectations are rarely fulfilled, and cracks in a relationship can widen irreparably.

Relationship difficulties can strike at any time of the year. What is very important however is how you deal with the situation, and what you choose to do next. If you both accept the relationship has irretrievably broken down, then separation and divorce may naturally follow.

There are ‘bad’ divorces and ‘better’ ones. Sadly, almost one in every three marriages fail, and among those many thousands of divorces each year, there can be a whole spectrum, running from bitter and protracted divorces, to amicable and consensual divorces.

If possible, please share your concerns with your husband, and you should both seek legal advice from a Resolution trained lawyer. One route you might like to consider is Collaborative Law. This allows you both to keep control of your situation and avoids the need to ask the Courts to make decisions on your behalf.

A successful collaborative outcome is predicated upon good communication, co-operation and compromise. You would each instruct your own collaboratively trained lawyer. There is a regional network of collaboratively trained lawyers, accessed by the Resolution website. All parties work together, in open and transparent meetings. You and your husband set the agenda, and meetings focus on your concerns and work towards achieving solutions for your problems.

This is a bespoke process which can quickly cut through delay that can follow when dealing with procedures within the Court process, and allows both of you to embark upon your new lives, free of the scars that can be caused by a confrontational and acrimonious divorce. Furthermore, in respect of children, the knowledge that parents have worked hard together to find a way forward for all, can be reassuring and comforting, and sets an excellent role model.

To find out more about Collaborative Law and any other family
legal matter, call Jane Cowley on 0116 247 3596
or email: jane.cowley@howespercival.com

Image: Jane Cowley, Family Law Partner and Head of the East Midlands Private Client Group at Howes Percival LLP.

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