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Michelle Holt

‘Tis the season to be jolly?

| Published on December 18, 2018

As the year draws to a close and a New Year is on the horizon, it is often a time for reflection and planning.

Whilst for many the Christmas and New Year period is a joyous one, celebrating with loved ones, for others, time spent together can highlight issues within their relationship. Hopefully your marriage or relationship will never break down, but if it does, we at Humphries Kirk are here to help you. We understand that separation is painful for all involved and can affect so many aspects of your life – from children and property to assets and finance.

The Office of National Statistics states that 42% of all marriages will end in divorce, with the average age of divorcing couples, currently around age 44, consistently getting older, year on year. Each family is different and have their own personal set of circumstances. What is right for one family, may not be right for another. We can help you navigate through the divorce process, whether that be by mediation referral, negotiation through parties and solicitors, or via the family court system.

On a happier note, if you are planning to ‘pop the question’ during the festive period, figures show that you are not alone. According to Harper’s Bazaar, Christmas Day is the most popular day of the year for couples to get engaged, followed by Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Once the champagne has been popped and the ‘wedding planner’ purchased, consider adding taking advice about a Pre-Nuptial Agreement on to the list of ‘things to do’. Not just for the rich and famous, Pre-Nuptial Agreements are becoming increasingly common in the UK. Often couples have pre-acquired assets, or an inheritance that they wish to preserve should the worse happen and the relationship later breaks down. Pre-Nuptial agreements should be signed at least 21 days prior to the date of the wedding and early advice and planning is essential. It is recommended that they are subsequently reinforced with a Post-Nuptial Agreement periodically throughout the marriage.

Again, many head in to the New Year making plans to further commit to their relationships by moving in together during the forthcoming year. Moving in with your partner is an exciting time, and a new step in your relationship, so it’s difficult to think about what would happen if you split up. Blended or patchwork families are very common and consideration should be given to drawing up a Cohabitation Agreement before you decide to blend your families and pre-acquired assets. Although it seems archaic in this day and age, couples that are not married do not have any legal protection should the relationship breakdown. Making plans in respect of what you would both like to happen if things go wrong may seem pessimistic, but it is a sensible and modern way to approach your new commitment to each other. A Cohabitation Agreement can make the exit route clear and fair. Hopefully you will never need to use it, but if you do, then it is there to protect both of you.

Throughout the month of January at Humphries Kirk we will be offering a free 30-minute initial consultation with an experienced family lawyer. During this appointment we will let you know the different options available to you, and the cost of such if you wish to proceed.

Contact your local branch of Humphries Kirk in order to book your appointment.

 

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