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Separation — a festive season survival guide

Kids opening presents, catch ups with friends, even a few days off work — Christmas is a time many people look forward to.

Sadly though, it’s also peak break-up time for couples.

And that could be for a number of reasons: whether it’s because people feel under stress or more pressure; they’re worried about how to pay for everything; or are just taking stock and looking to what the new year might bring.

Of course, break-ups are difficult at any time. Emotions will run high, but the good news is that there are ways to work through the difficulties of separation and divorce constructively, and reach the best outcome for you and your family.

What about the kids?

Children will always be a main consideration for any separating couple, but the advice is to keep them out of it as far as possible.

At an early stage, they don’t need to know that their parents are making arrangements to separate.

If you can, try to continue as normal at the start, this is also likely to help minimise any future arguments about contact.

Do I really need to keep speaking to him/her?

Usually, yes.

Communication during separation can be important. Regardless of your reasons for splitting up you may need to speak to your spouse or partner. In practical terms, this can make the process easier and should cut down on lengthy legal correspondence.

However, there are circumstances when that simply doesn’t work. For example, if you think your spouse is disposing of your assets without you knowing, or in cases of domestic violence. In that case you would be better to speak to your solicitor first to take appropriate action.

But what about our finances?

Finances should always be resolved as amicably as possible and, most importantly, with the benefit of independent legal advice.

You may already have an idea of what you want to settle on, but always get sound advice first. In particular, never sign a legal agreement without speaking to your solicitor first: you might find yourself locked into an agreement with implications that you didn’t appreciate.

“It’s far too early to involve solicitors!”

It’s never too early to seek legal advice.

At times like these, you need sensitive, confidential assistance. You can also seek help and support before you separate, to make sure you don’t make costly mistakes further down the line.

Above all...

Look after your own interests, and those of any children. Your solicitor will be well placed to advise you on how best to do that.

For sensible, straightforward advice, contact the family law team.

Emma Somerville

Emma, who's based in Aberdeen, supports clients, both in and out of court, with a wide range of other family matters, including separation; child residence and contact; cohabitation agreements; adoption; and divorce. She also advises on the financial aspects of separation and divorce alongside other family law matters such as guardianship and exhumation.

Posted, 27 November 2019 by Emma Somerville
Categories: Family law | Insights