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New year, fresh start?

With Christmas fast approaching, everyone is rushing around trying to find the perfect presents and plan the best celebrations. It is a time of year that brings happiness and excitement for all ages. However, for those experiencing difficulties within their relationships, it can also be a time of great stress and uncertainty. You may have decided that your relationship has come to an end or come to the conclusion that reconciliation with a recent ex-partner just isn’t possible.

Finding the right moment to take the first step in making a change can be difficult. On the one hand, you may feel that you cannot keep up a façade in front of family and friends when you are facing problems in your personal life. On the other hand, you may not wish to ruin the festivities by bringing it up over the holiday period and so may wait until the New Year. It is no coincidence that January has long been cited as the month to get divorced.

The word ‘divorce’ can be a scary one especially if you have children and the last thing you want is to bring any upheaval into their lives. However, divorce doesn’t have to turn into an nasty expensive battle. Here are the 5 most important factors to consider when taking that first step: –

1. Obtain sound legal advice – Before making any big decisions, make sure you seek advice from an experienced family lawyer who will be able to talk you through the law, go through your options with you and make sure you choose the route that suits your circumstances the best.

2. Reassure the children – Sit down with your children and break the news to them as gently as possible. Reassure them that your divorce is in no way their fault and doesn’t change how much you both love them. The less disruption and change to their routine there is, the less likely they are to feel like your divorce is something to be worried and upset about.

3. Get your finances in order – Separating from your spouse will more than likely involve one of you moving out from the family home. It is a good idea at this point to start looking at your finances, both individual and joint and consider factors such as keeping up with mortgage payments, utilities, everyday expenses and rent of a new property. That way you will be much more prepared when approaching financial discussions and settlements with your ex-partner.

4. Support network – Your family and friends are a key source of support when you’re going through a difficult time in your life. Others may have gone through similar experiences and can offer advice and or even just a sympathetic ear when you need to let off some steam. It is important though to try not to be influenced by the thoughts and opinions of others and make decisions which you feel are right for you and your family.

5. Positivity – Divorce doesn’t have to be a horrible experience. Approaching divorce in a pragmatic and amicable way may seem a difficult task with so many emotions likely to be involved. However, the more amicable you are with your ex-partner during the divorce process, the happier you’re both likely to be in the end.

If you would like a confidential no obligation chat call Sally or Laura at Consilia Legal on 0113 322 9222. We have a wealth of experience in dealing with family breakdown and will help you to understand the options available to you. Our offices are in Leeds and Harrogate.