Another year is almost over and Christmas is just days away. Undoubtedly, 2021 has been another challenging year. As Family Lawyers, sadly we have continued to see the negative impact the continuation of COVID-19 has had on families.
During the year, we assisted many clients navigate the process of separating from their partner. For many, it will be their first Christmas where they do not celebrate Christmas with their partner and they have had to make arrangements for the children to spend time with both parties on Christmas day. For others, they could be contemplating a separation and be daunted by the process.
At Andersons, we are committed to assisting our clients to formulate a plan, which will assist them to navigate through what is likely to be one of the most difficult times in their lives. To assist you, we share our 5 tips to assist those who have separated or contemplating separation survive the festive season.
Reach out for help
Separation can be a stressful, upsetting and confusing time. It is important to remember that you are not alone. There are a wealth of people out there to help you get through this difficult time. Reach out to trusting family and friends for support. Equally, don’t be afraid to contact professionals to seek counselling and psychological support. A good starting point may be contacting your GP.
Don’t discuss parenting arrangements or financial matters in front of the children
It is important to remember that kids are very intuitive and pick up on everything. Their little ears are always listening so it is important that when you are having discussions about parenting arrangements or financial matters with your former partner, you ensure the children are not listening. You should also ensure that other people are respectful and don’t discuss these matters with you in the presence of the children.
It is also advisable to record any agreement you reach regarding parenting or financial matters, in writing.
Think before you “post”
In the age of social media, it can be easy to get caught up in the emotion of a separation and take to social media to vent your frustration, anger, hurt or resentment. But don’t. Things you post in the heat of the moment may turn around to disadvantage you in the long run when trying to negotiate and finalise your property settlement or parenting arrangements. Care should be given to every text, email or post you write.
If you have separated or are contemplating separating from your partner, you should review your finances (if you can) and try and budget. Try and save money for a rainy day. For example, you may need to dip into these funds if your former partner becomes difficult and refuses to pay their share of the mortgage repayments or simply to make ends meet.
Obtain legal advice as soon as possible to your rights and entitlements
Speak to a Family Lawyer and find out about your rights and entitlements, as soon as possible. Even in an amicable separation, it is important that you know where you stand and what steps need to be taken to formalise and make legally binding any agreement you reach with your partner regarding the children and property. Avoid making any rash decisions without first obtaining competent legal advice from an experienced family lawyer.
Our experienced Family Law team at Andersons Solicitors is here to assist you. If you require Family Law advice over the Christmas period, please do not hesitate to contact us