Has lockdown got you thinking divorce?
We are all spending a lot more at time at home with our family and while many are enjoying this time, for some lockdown has highlighted incompatibilities that have them contemplating divorce.
While the last few months are definitely unprecedented and would put even the most solid relationship under pressure, if you don’t think that the frustration will ease as lockdown is lifted, family partner Rebecca Silcock outlines five things you can do right now to best prepare yourself for divorce if that is what you decide to do.
Set realistic expectations
Too often, clients start on the path to divorce with the expectation that their lives are going to be the same as they were when they were married, just without their current spouse. The reality, for the majority of people, is that divorce will necessitate changes—sometimes major changes—in how they live, both financially and as a parent.
Make sure you go into the process prepared for the fact that your life will change and realistic expectations as to what is an acceptable outcome.
Without realistic expectations from the start often countless hours and money can be spent by parties seeking concessions from their spouse that just aren’t realistic. While any solicitor worth hiring will advise their clients only to litigate when it makes sense, ultimately the decision is the client’s.
Get a handle on your finances
It goes without saying that maintaining two households is more expensive than maintaining one. Start thinking about your monthly budget, your income as compared to your spouse’s, what kind of assets you have now (and to whom they belong). Getting divorced might mean that you have to go back to work, get a new job, move to a cheaper home or different neighbourhood or sell certain assets in order to afford ongoing expenses.
Having a financial plan for when you’re no longer married will prevent unreasonable or unrealistic expectations for settlement and make the process of getting divorced much easier.
Start considering hard truths about co-parenting and children’s arrangements
The expectation that the mother “gets the children” while the father sees them every other weekend is a thing of the past.
These days, most divorced couples have shared care agreements that impose heavy responsibilities of coordination and collaboration on both parents. That means sharing school drop off and pick up, sports clubs at the weekends and you may need to change working hours or reduce your business travel, for example to accommodate these responsibilities.
Improve your own dispute resolution skills
After you’re divorced, any disagreement regarding how you want to raise your children will have to be worked through in order to reach an agreement. Take the time now to think about what things are really important to you and therefore worth fighting for. The last thing you want to do is add additional stress to the situation both for you and your children and incur additional cost by having to have a mediator or court settle a disagreement if emotions are driving you to fight for something just as a matter of principle.
Seek out a solicitor whose approach aligns with your goals
You are going to spend a lot of time discussing the most private and personal aspects of your life, with this person, so making sure you find a solicitor who you trust and feel comfortable with is absolutely crucial.
In truth, solicitors will have different styles and approaches to cases, so it is worth asking for recommendations and speaking to a few before you decide who to appoint.
Going through divorce is difficult, even if it is something you want, so taking time at the start to set realistic expectations will definitely help when you decide to proceed with a divorce.
Please get in touch today if you would like to speak to our experts. Contact Rebecca Silcock on 01225 750 000 or email email@example.com