What to do if you are thinking of ending your relationship
January can be a difficult month for many people, for a variety of reasons. The holiday season can be stressful, and the pressures of family gatherings, lengthy celebrations, and the financial burden of it all can push an already strained relationship to the brink. Feelings of dissatisfaction, frustration, and resentment can be what remains after the excitement and busyness of the holiday subsides, and the new year can bring with it a desire for change.
If you are experiencing difficulty in your relationship and are giving thought to whether a separation or divorce is right for you and your family, it may be helpful to speak with one of our family solicitors. We can help you to better understand the options available and what they could mean for your and your family’s future.
Deciding to divorce or separate is a significant step and should not be a decision that comes from an emotional place. Although it may feel daunting to speak to a solicitor, you do not have to make any final decisions; you are simply obtaining the relevant information necessary to enable you to make an informed decision. You should take time to digest the information you obtain and assess what it will really mean for you and your family. You may decide thereafter that separation or divorce is not what you want.
You may also wish to speak with a therapist or counsellor. Take care if speaking with friends or family that they will not relay your thoughts to your partner or spouse before you are ready to discuss it with them yourself, especially as your partner or spouse may not currently be on ‘the same page’ as you. If you are reaching out for advice, perhaps consider setting up a new, private email address, and take care not to leave information accessible to your partner or spouse, to avoid causing any unnecessary upset. If you do eventually decide that you want to proceed with a separation or divorce, then having obtained the right information may help you to reach an agreement with your partner or spouse without acrimony.
The person you are considering separating from might be your husband, wife, civil partner, or cohabitee – which will involve different legal processes. Depending on your situation, there could be other aspects that will require contemplation: there might be financial matters that will need sorting upon separation or divorce, or you may have children for which you will have to consider new arrangements.
If you feel you are a victim of abuse, you should act without delay. Call 999 if you are in immediate danger, otherwise there are several organisations and charities who can provide you with support – please see the linked NHS website for their contact details: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/getting-help-for-domestic-violence/.
Whether you decide you want to stay in your relationship, or to take steps to end it, seeking advice at this stage will ensure that you make the right decision for you, with all the relevant information to hand.
If you do want some help looking at your options on separation or divorce, one of our family solicitors can help. Initial enquiries are without charge, and we can then offer a fixed fee for an initial meeting with you (by zoom or in person).