Lockdown has been the final straw for many struggling relationships but our Family Specialist, Elanor Findlay, explains that there are some important considerations to make before you or your partner decide to go your separate ways…
“It is September already! Lockdown restrictions have eased, the summer holidays are behind us and the school year has started. In my experience, September is usually a time when many people are considering significant decisions about the future of their relationship. Sadly, the intensity and additional stress caused by lockdown has pushed some already struggling relationships and marriages to breaking point. While some have already decided to separate, others are contemplating their next steps and the options available to them. Whatever the reasons and however separation has arisen for you or someone you know, there are some key considerations to be aware of before making any rushed decisions:
You will need up to date information about your family financial circumstances to enable you to make informed decisions. Seeking professional advice early helps to ensure that you make informed decisions about how to approach your immediate needs before you act.
Sadly, we see far too many people that have made the mistake of leaving the family home too soon. It is very important that you seek advice from a family lawyer to determine if leaving is the right step for you in the long term and what the potential pros and cons are. Of course, if you or the children are at risk of harm, then safety is your priority, and we can help you utilise measures to help protect you.
If you are the person in the relationship wishing to separate, then you may wish to discuss the timing and method of communicating that news. The way you start to communicate this vital message is likely to set the tone moving forward, and we are happy to discuss with you the best approach.
It is really important for you to keep your personal information private, so you may wish to change passwords to email and social media accounts and to protect your bank accounts.
All conversations with your lawyer are private and confidential.
We encourage separating parents to be very cautious about entering into an agreement without seeking professional legal advice first. What might feel entirely suitable now, may be problematic in the future.
EARLY PROFESSIONAL ADVICE
I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to seek legal advice at the early stages or even better, at pre separation stage.
We have seen many clients over the years who had previously agreed to arrangements only to discover later that they were placed in a vulnerable or disadvantaged position. Had those clients understood the consequences of those decisions, they would not have made them.
Discussing your separation with a lawyer is not the trigger for a court battle. It is very simply the chance to have a conversation that provides a clear analysis of your available options and enable you to make informed choices.”