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Partner and Head of Family Law, Rugby
Well, it’s all over now, the sparkle and gloss have disappeared, any manufactured energy and enthusiasm have visibly waned and the inevitable recognition that it’s finally finished has been accepted.
No I’m not talking about Christmas; I am referring to the many relationships that end every January. That isn’t to say that they suddenly stop working in the first month of the year, they may well have been disintegrating for several months/years before that, but there is something about the advent of a new year that make people decide that they no longer want to remain in a tired and washed out relationship. It might be something about fresh starts, new resolutions or shaking off the shackles of the past, but notoriously January is the time when people are most likely to file for divorce.
If there are children involved it is likely that although the couple may have been contemplating ending the relationship for some time, they will delay approaching a solicitor until after the festive season so the children can still enjoy a ‘magical’ family Christmas. For some couples Christmas offers exactly the right environment for the finish line to become very visible, the pressure of making it a marvellous time for all and sundry can be just that bit too much for struggling relationships. The festive season invites a strong emotional response and if you are feeling unhappy and discontented with your marriage, Christmas and New Year may push those feelings to breaking point.
Is there a ‘right time’ to split up? Is it just that some times aren’t quite as bad as others? It could be argued that for couples choosing to part in January the Yuletide will still be tarnished as future Christmases will always be spent thinking, “... well, it was only a couple of days after Christmas that he/she Mum/Dad left…”.
Whenever you choose to make the monumental decision to end a long term relationship, take time to consider the consequences for yourself and your family, the practical and financial consequences and the emotional consequences too, don’t let the stresses and strains of Christmas be too significant an influence on your decision. Talking to a professional can be extremely helpful at this point, they can offer an objective perspective on the situation and help you manage any anxiety and confusion you may be experiencing. A reality check is key to making an informed decision, it possibly isn’t about if you should leave the relationship but more likely when, but if it was an ‘if’ there are trained professionals available to help you consider various options.
Brethertons Family Team offers the opportunity to discuss financial, practical and emotional outcomes to separation and divorce, so make a New Year’s Resolution to take a considered approach to the rest of your life and come and talk to them if you feel that you no longer want to be in your current relationship.