Thinking of getting a Divorce? Consider these 5 key things first
Divorce rates have started to decline in recent years, with numbers not seen since the 1970’s. These figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 130,473 couples divorced in the UK in 2013, down almost three per cent on the previous year.
The drop in divorce rate is thought to be, in part, due to couples co-habiting for longer periods before deciding to marry. However while divorce rates on the whole have dropped, there has been an increase among those over 50, dubbed by the media as ‘silver separators’. This is thought to be partly due to children leaving home and partly to an increased life expectancy.
When we get married we enter into it with such hope, enthusiasm and optimism for the future.
Of course very few people think that 10 or 20 years down the line they’ll be contemplating divorce. But relationships and circumstances can change and life can throw a lot at you.
While many couples work through rough patches or succeed in avoiding them altogether, others find it impossible to move forward and get through difficult times, with the unfortunate result that separation or divorce are at first contemplated, and can then start to seem like the only possible solution.
Divorce is not always the only option though, so if you’re currently experiencing marital or relationship difficulties, it’s worth having a think about these few points before taking this to the next step.
New Year Divorce
December and the run up to Christmas, can be a particularly stressful time of year for couples and families. It’s a time that can make financial worries seem worse, and with the modern commercial pressures of Christmas, it’s not uncommon for people who should be celebrating a happy time of year to see additional financial burdens piling up.
Often Christmas can involve a hectic schedule of family visits, and an increased amount of time spent with spouse, family and in-laws.
These factors, along with the desire to “make a fresh start” in the New Year, mean that January is often the busiest time for family law teams.
In fact, some family law specialists report that divorce instructions rise by as much as 27% compared to an average month.
5 Things to Consider If You’re Thinking of Getting a Divorce
It can be incredibly hard to know if it’s the ‘right’ time to end a marriage. Only you know what’s right for you, your situation and the circumstances surrounding it.
If divorce is something that you’re thinking about, and you’re not in physical danger so don’t need to leave your relationship immediately for reasons of personal safety, our advice is to take some time to consider. Most relationships experience ups and downs, so ask yourself: “Is it just recent pressures making me feel this way or are my feelings deeper and more long term?”
Here are some questions we hope may help.
1. Do You Want a Divorce or a Better Marriage?
An unhappy marriage and an un-salvageable one are not the same thing. Are there things in your marriage that if changed, would make you feel differently?
Divorce is a drastic step to take when what you’re actually after is change.
2. Are You Really “Married”?
This can seem a strange question. But there’s a difference between a marriage that consists of a couple who are committed to each other and one that is made up of two individuals with separate interests who simply live together and take care of their own needs.
Are you and your spouse a team working together on things?
Do you ask ‘is this good for us’ rather than focusing on ‘what’s right for me’?
If not, are you willing to commit to working towards making the marriage of a partnership, in the true sense of the word, and to become more unified in your outlook?
3. Have You Tried Getting External Help?
Have you tried couples therapy or marriage counselling? A third party who’s not emotionally invested in the relationship may be able to help you find new solutions to old arguments. If necessary, they can also help a marriage end with less conflict.
If you’re seeing a couples therapist or counsellor and don’t feel it’s helping, it may be due to the therapist. So if you believe your marriage is worth fighting for and you want it to last, then try working with another therapist before calling it quits.
4. Has Stress Pushed The Relationship to Breaking Point?
We all know that no relationship runs smoothly all the time. However, niggles over who does the washing up are very different to managing the stress involved with things such as unemployment, financial ruin or bereavement.
These types of situations are often ‘life changing’ and can feel so overwhelming that they affect every part of a relationship, especially if both partners deal with emotions in a different way.
Divorce rates often rise in these situations, so it can be worth seeking help with both the emotional and practical issues you’re dealing with before going down this route.
5. Do You Still Love Your Spouse?
Love can be hard to find when the everyday stresses of life leave us feeling tired and unappreciated. With an ongoing power struggle in the relationship there is little space for intimacy and closeness.
However, if there’s even a spark left, it’s worth asking yourself, “can I re-ignite it?” Of course, it’s a two-way thing, but if there’s a desire to rekindle the feelings of old on the part of both partners, the answer is surely “it’s worth a try.”
How we can help
Since this article has been published we no longer offer Family Law services but we can help you with:
- Wills, Probate & Power of Attorney
- Personal Injury
- Court of Protection
- Medical Negligence