As a family lawyer I am very conscious that the end of summer means different things to different people. As I was pushing my shopping trolley down the supermarket aisle the other day, I noticed mother and young son by the “Back to School” section. The young boy was in the process of persuading Mum that last year’s school backpack was no longer cool (or is it “sick”?) and that a new one was essential! “Back to School” – that is it then, the realisation that summer is over and the routine starts again and off we go.
That led me to reminiscing about my school days when the first homework chore of the autumn term was always to write an essay on “What I did in the Summer Holidays”. I wondered whether this still applies and, if so, whether that little boy would describe a happy summer holiday spent with his family. Throughout my years as a family lawyer I know this is not always the case.
According to a recent survey, almost a third of couples who had gone through a divorce decided to split up within weeks of returning from a holiday. 10 % said that the trip prompted the the initial contact with a family lawyer leading to separation and ultimately the divorce!
It comes as no surprise to a family lawyer that the family holiday can sometimes be less than idyllic and that they can result in family arguments. Couples often pin their hopes on sorting out problems in their relationships, or trying to save their marriage by getting away from it all, having a break and going on holiday together. Spending time with your partner and talking over any issues between you is often the best way of resolving any problems or misunderstandings that have arisen in your relationship. However, as the statistics quoted in the recent survey show, a holiday is sadly not always “a cure for all”.
At the end of the summer holiday, when the children are back at school, you find that you have time to reflect. If you believe that you have reached a point where your relationship cannot be saved, aside from the emotional issues, your first concerns are likely to be how to ensure your children’s stability and how you will sort out the finances. Amongst other things you will probably worry about what happens with the mortgage. Then, who will pay the bills; will the house have to be sold; how often will I see my children. Not knowing where you stand legally can often be a trigger for further arguments and unnecessary conflict with your spouse or partner.
Get the right advice from a specialist family lawyer at the outset and avoid worrying about the unknown. Once you know where you stand legally, you may find that you are better able to focus on the future and get through the difficult times.
I can listen to your particular set of circumstances, provide the legal advice and assist you in finding the right way for you to reach an amicable settlement.
If you want expert advice when it comes to separation or divorce, please contact me, Louise Higham, at The Law House Solicitors on 01225 690090. Alternatively, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org