- AuthorClare Thornton
Once again we have reached the first Monday in January which the media has penned as “Divorce Day” - allegedly the day when more people divorce than any other day of the year. I confess to being sceptical about this but certainly Christmas can often put added pressure on families who are already at breaking point.
"it's a natural instinct for
people to try and score points"
As an experienced family lawyer I have spent many years watching families be 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 totally in the right and the other person totally in the wrong. Inevitably, this leads to conflict, hurt and distress and the cost of this can be huge - not only financially with legal bills trying to sort everything out, but the more devastating and long lasting cost is an emotional one.
This emotional cost impacts not only on the two people involved, but also on their 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.
"often the conflict can be resolved with
the help of an experienced mediator to help
people truly hear the other person"
This is why, many years ago, I chose to train as a family mediator. Don’t get me wrong, mediation is not for everyone. Sometimes one party genuinely is being unreasonable or deceitful and in those cases the support of the legal system is needed, but often the conflict can be resolved with the help of an experienced mediator to help people truly hear the other person, and to find compromise and consensus so that the family can move forward to their future apart.
It’s never easy facing the person you no longer love and agreeing the terms of your separation, but especially if children are involved, I would encourage you to consider mediation so that you can work out a way to protect the children from being damaged by the conflict surrounding your separation, and instead work out a plan together to separate your finances and make arrangements to share the care of the children going forwards.
Hopefully then divorce day won’t mean devastation for your family.