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All I want for Christmas is…a divorce

We find a high number of couples seek legal advice in relation to divorce and separation in the New Year. Statistics show divorce rates rise in the month of January and continue up until the end of March in what has become a recognised post-Christmas trend. Christmas adds strain and pressure to an already struggling relationship and often couples are at breaking point.

At Sweeney Miller, we see it as assisting clients by taking away some of that pressure and to help them start afresh in the New Year. Couples who divorce or separate need to try and make suitable arrangements as to where a child should live or any other special arrangements which are needed for their children. Couples also need to have arrangements in place with the wider complexities following a split such as splitting assets, the family home, or pensions.

Reaching a divorce agreement

Some couples are able to reach an agreement themselves, but it is sensible to have the agreement put into an order which is approved by the Court so that is can be made legally binding. This would be as effective as an order made by a judge following a full hearing. In this scenario, we can draft the court order and liaise with your ex-partner to have the agreement signed to formalise the settlement. We offer a fixed fee where an agreement has already been reached, therefore you will have certainty about your legal costs from the start of the process.

However, we understand that breaking up from your partner is one of the most difficult situations to deal with and often people need assistance and guidance in reaching an agreement and sometimes negotiation is required. Not everyone knows that pensions can also be divided in a divorce settlement and they are often one of the most valuable assets in a marriage. We can advise you on what would be a fair settlement and if necessary, we can obtain independent financial advice from experts such as actuaries, accountants or financial planners. Sweeney Miller is one of the few firms that are able to offer payment plans to help you fund your legal costs which are assessed on an individual basis, such as payments made upon the sale of a property.

Divorce and child agreements

Following separation, sometimes there is a breakdown in the relationship between parent and child which is extremely tough for all involved. We encourage parents to work together to reach an agreement on their children’s care as the parents often know what works well in their family dynamic. If the result is left up to the courts to decide, often both parents leave feeling like they did not achieve what they wanted or expected. The Family Courts always focus on the children’s best interests, but parents find court hearings daunting and it often creates a further divide between the parents. We realise that after a breakdown of a relationship, it is not easy to talk to your ex-partner, but we work hard on ensuring the children do not suffer from that. If an agreement cannot be reached, then mediation may be a useful tool for your family as court should be the last resort.

Rebecca Cresswell, Sweeney Miller Law’s divorce lawyer said: “We understand that family matters are extremely difficult topics to discuss and are personal to you, but couples should remember that we deal with these issues every day and we can guide you through the process taking away some of the strain.”

For anyone who is considering divorce or separation, please call Sweeney Miller Law on 03459005401 for advice from our team of specialists such as child custody lawyers who can guide you through the process.


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