New year, new start

January is historically a busy time for divorce practitioners, largely due to the pressure placed on married couples over the Christmas period, be it financial or an emphasis on an underlying problem that has been in existence for some time, and ignored until a forced period of time is spent together over the holidays. Let us discuss a strategy to move forward at this sensitive time.

Seek legal advice as soon as possible. Even if you decide not to act upon the advice given immediately, knowledge is power. You need to know not just your rights, but your responsibilities and the options which are open to you. Prior to seeing a solicitor, make a list of things you wish to raise and discuss. The list should include matters relating to children as well as finances.

As well as a brief list of what to do, it is also important to note what not to do. Firstly, do not panic as this can lead to bad decision making. As tempting as it my be to cut up your spouse’s clothes, do not take revenge! Do not endeavour to transfer money or attempt to “shelter” assets as when it is discovered during the court process that you have deliberately tried to frustrate your spouse’s claim, a very dim view is taken of this behaviour. Do not use the children as “weapons”. Again, when emotions are running high, it is easy to be tempted to do so as a form of revenge, but it is the children who will ultimately be negatively affected.

When you are ready to make the move, speak to one of our family team assistants who will be able to offer you an appointment with a member of our family department.

Carol Robinson is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors.

Ipswich Family Solicitors – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email