Welcome to this week’s snippet. We hope you have all now returned to work after the festive period, refreshed and determined to make 2018 a success!

January is often challenging. After a long break and lack of routine, it can be difficult to get back into the swing of things. The first working day of January is also the day when many couples decide to divorce, having waited until Christmas and the New Year are out of the way before starting the process. Because of this, the day has been dubbed as “Divorce Day”.

In England & Wales, there are more than 100,000 marriages a year that end in divorce. The Office for National Statistics revealed an increase in divorce rates of 5.8% in 2016 compared to 2015, the highest increase since 2009. Another statistic shows that 1 in 5 couples hold off divorce proceedings until after Christmas.

The process of getting divorced can be relatively straightforward, unless there are children involved or financial disagreements, which can increase costs and the time it takes for a divorce to be finalised. If possible, and if the parties are willing, it is best to reach agreement in relation to children and finances to prevent costs escalating and to achieve a “quick divorce”. 

Divorce is not the only option, however. It may be that judicial separation is a better option for some couples where, for example, there are religious reasons against a divorce, the couple simply requires space to decide their future or, if the couple has been married for less than a year. Nevertheless, all options should be carefully discussed with a solicitor prior to deciding which course of action to take. It is therefore very important that you seek legal advice.

If you are going through a divorce, separation or any other family law - related matter please contact Sheldon Henry, Senior Partner and Head of Family Law, on 0207 226 0570 or email sheldon@gelbergs.co.uk