The space many people take in the run up to a new year often allows time to take stock, look ahead and to make resolutions. But while many will opt to embark on a 'dry January' or perhaps a 30 day detox plan, for some this time of year brings more difficult decisions.
The festive period can bring a whole range of pressures and, unfortunately can prove to be the final breaking point for many couples. Having supported people dealing with the end of a relationship through divorce or separation for over 30 years, I know that this is one the hardest times in anyone’s life.
Starting afresh is tough, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and resolving to make those first steps towards that light and brighter future in a positive and constructive way can make the journey much more manageable.
So if you are resolving to make changes:
- Resolve to look forward not back.
- Resolve to put any children first – sometimes easier said than done but an essential consideration for every parent, as children are all too often caught in the middle. Ask yourself honestly, what would really be the best thing for them?
- Resolve to explore non - confrontational ways to sort out the problems that arise on separation or divorce. Consider alternatives such as mediation, where you sit with a trained mediator to help the two of you come to a solution, or use collaborative law rather than court. Under collaborative law you and your partner sign a binding agreement not to litigate and commit to finding answers in a series of roundtable meetings. Collaborative law lets you retain control of what is going on and research shows that not only does it lead to better outcomes than litigation, but more often than not has a lower financial and emotional cost.
- Resolve to do something for you. It does not have to be expensive or extravagant but if you’re going through the traumas of a separation, however necessary it may be, it is important you get some “me time”. This will help you to come to terms with the changes in your life and also ensure that you have more patience for others around you.
Stephen Root is a leading Family Law specialist with over 30 years’ experience supporting separating couples.