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To divorce, or not to divorce: that is the question

View profile for Susan Howarth
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Valentine’s Day: the final straw

Every year, from 1st January onwards, we get Valentine’s Day coming at us from every direction.

Wherever you look it’s Hallmark-heaven, with hearts, flowers, chocolates and cuddly toys thrust in our faces along with this huge pressure to be deliriously ‘happy’ in our relationships and to show the world just how ‘in love’ we all are.

What was once a day recognised as a significant cultural and religious celebration of romance has now become a commercial steamroller and we just can’t escape it.

So, take a relationship that’s been suffering from marital problems for some time, and Valentine’s Day can quickly become the tipping point.  

Pressures and stressors

A research report published by Relate and YouGov into the quality of the UK’s couple relationships highlighted that levels of relationship distress increased with factors such as length of relationship, having children, poor health/disability, and lower socio-economic position.

It also found that household chores, different interests, a lack of work-life balance, low libido/differing sex drives and not understanding each other were identified by respondents as the top 5 stressors in a relationship.

For a marriage that’s been suffering from similar longer-term unresolved problems, the pressure and expectation to demonstrate your ‘undying love’ for your supposed ‘soulmate’ can be one step too far - it simply exposes the elephant in the room.

Be sure

Although an estimated 42% of marriages now end in divorce, it’s rarely an easy decision to divorce: relationships are complex and emotions can fluctuate from one day to the next, all of which can be further complicated if you have children together.

Giving yourself time to think is important and, in many instances, joint counselling can be an excellent idea for couples who are experiencing problems and struggling to communicate.

Organisations such as Relate can offer a calm, civilised and unbiased environment in which both parties can discuss and explore the issues and their feelings about the marriage.

Get informed

Covering all bases is important.

Alongside taking the appropriate steps to identify whether your relationship can be saved (and whether you want to save it), it’s sensible to seek legal advice at the earliest possible stage and ideally before separation.

A specialist family lawyer will advise on your position and options, and provide information about family finances and negotiating the financial settlement. This is particularly important if you are financially the weaker party.

Here for you

Regardless of what stage you’re at, the thought of divorce can be both heart breaking and confusing.

Ultimately that difficult and often painful decision can only be made by you, but at SH&Co. we are here to help you understand the divorce process, discuss your options and clarify your position. And should you decide to divorce, we’ll be with you every step of the way.

If you’d like more information or just to have a chat, call us on 01606 48777 to book yourself a FREE 30-minute appointment with one of our family lawyers or pop in to one of our FREE drop-in Family Law clinics.