Divorce Day 2022

After another turbulent year thanks to the pandemic, families have again been put under increased strain in 2021, whether that be due to having to live and work in close quarters, increased financial challenges, or the very direct impact on families due to the need to isolate to name but a few. And once again we have reached the first business-working-Monday in January which the media label as “Divorce Day”.

Although considered a myth by many, it will be no surprise to witness an increase in enquiries to family law solicitors this New Year as the cumulative stresses on relationships hit its peak, and leave individuals feeling like there is no other option than to call it a day.

‘…it’s a natural instinct for
people to try and score points…’

As experienced family law solicitors, we have spent many years observing the break down of relationships and families being torn apart when a couple decide to call time on their relationship. Often it’s a natural instinct for people to try and score points against the other and to view themselves as being totally in the right, and the other person as being totally in the wrong. Inevitably, this approach leads to conflict, hurt, and distress, and the cost of this can be huge, not only financially with mounting legal bills, but the more devastating and long lasting emotional cost.

This emotional cost impacts not only on the two people separating, but also on the children and wider family and friends who often get dragged in to the conflict, unwittingly taking sides or feeling the pain of one or other of the participants.

‘…a stressful, emotional, time consuming,
and expensive experience, it’s a decision that people fear
in anticipation of a torrid few months…’

Choosing to separate is never an easy decision to make. What is commonly touted as a stressful, emotional, time consuming, and expensive experience, it’s a decision that people fear in anticipation of a torrid few months, if not years, of legal wrangling but there are another ways.

Consider alternative ways of trying to resolve issues arising from your separation without the need for entering into an exhausting, emotionally draining and expensive court battle. This is never going to be an easy time but there are ways you can reduce your stress and preserve your relationship to ensure you move forward in a constructive conciliatory way.  At Thornton Jones we can offer a range of alternative options best suited to your individual needs and with our expert guidance we will assist you in navigating this difficult time.

Our services at Thornton Jones include:


Clare Thornton and Shelley Wales are both experienced mediators and are passionate about assisting parties through this process. Mediation usually involves both parties separately meeting the mediator to then having a joint meeting to resolve the issues in dispute. Mediation is a cost effective way of proceeding and avoids the stress of litigation through the court process.  It allows the parties the opportunity to openly discuss their concerns and put forward their point of view in a way which encourages ad promotes settlement.

Collaborative Law

Clare Thornton and Jane Auty are both experienced Collaborative Lawyers and great advocates of this process having seen the benefits of this over a number of years.  Collaborative Law involves both parties signing up to the process and with the assistance of their lawyers who are by their side throughout arrange a number of 4 way meetings to resolve issues arising from their separation.  This can relate to both children and financial arrangements.  For example, parties exchange information and negotiate during the meetings with the added benefit of knowing they themselves are in control of the discussions and set the agenda of what is important to them.  This enables parties to reach an outcome which is beneficial to the whole family and puts them at the centre of the process.


Clare Thornton is an experienced Arbitrator and has successfully assisted parties in resolving disputes where she has been appointed to adjudicate. Arbitration is a dispute resolution process can be much quicker than the court process and it is conducted in private. Arbitration has been particularly useful during the Covid 19 pandemic as an alternative to hearings, where the courts have not had the resources to deal with substantial hearings.  It has meant parties have been able to list a remote private final hearing at their own convenience in order to reach a resolution, rather than having the uncertainty of when a case will be listed.


Of course not every case is suitable for alternative dispute resolution and there are occasions when urgent steps need to be taken through the court process.  All of our team are litigation specialists, including Partner and Head of our Family Law team, Steven Eldridge, and can all assist you with both financial and Children Act court applications.

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