New Year, Fresh Start?

6th January 2020

In January law firms across the country see a rise in divorce and civil partnership dissolution enquiries. We always see a rise in divorce enquiries after the New Year with many seeking some form of legal advice regarding their relationship. This year Monday 6th January is likely to be one of our busiest, but why?

It isn’t just because people have spent extra time with their families over Christmas and decided they’ve had enough! January is seen as a fresh start when New Year’s resolutions are made. Christmas can play a part, the extra financial pressure on families can show breaks in relationships, the extra alcohol and parties may also play their part for a few, but in the main people just want Christmas out of the way first. People often hold off on particularly emotive decisions until after Christmas, trying not to upset family or giving it a last chance over a special time of year.

Whatever the time of year a relationship break up is never something that is done easily. At Gilbert Stephens we are here to listen to you, we will sensitively guide you whatever your needs, whether it’s a divorce, civil partnership dissolution, child contact, expert mediation, financial advice – whatever is needed we are here to help you.

That first step in seeking legal help can be one of the hardest, emotions are inevitably high and even more so when children are involved. Below is a bit of information about what you can expect from us if you find yourself in the position of needing to get legal advice and what you may need to consider.

What to expect at initial contact
When you contact us for the first time you will speak to a sympathetic member of our team who specialises in family law. We will take your full details and listen to you as you explain your circumstances. If after your initial discussion you would like an appointment to see one of our lawyers, we will book this for you.

What to expect at your first appointment
At your appointment your lawyer will take further, more in depth details regarding your situation. We will discuss the outcome you would like and your expectations of the process. Additionally, we will consider mediation and whether it may be appropriate for your circumstances. We have a variety of fixed fee choices for family law including divorce/dissolution of civil partnerships, financial settlements and separation agreements. You can find the full fees table here. We will discuss how best to finance your work in detail with you and if appropriate consider whether legal aid is an option.

Further down the line
Once you have instructed us, we will start the necessary paperwork and make contact with other parties as needed. We keep you updated throughout the process and are available if you need to contact us should anything arise. There are many aspects to consider during a relationship break up and we will ensure we discuss them all with you, these can include updating your will, pension advice, child contact, child maintenance and any child care proceedings, living arrangements, property and finance.

You can find out more about our family law services here

We have six offices throughout Devon in Exeter, Crediton, Budleigh Salterton, Ottery St Mary, Sidmouth and Okehampton at which we can see you. Contact us here