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With online divorces now possible, this means an application can be lodged at court at any time and, according to official figures, the divorce rate peaked with 455 people applying for a divorce over the Christmas and New Year period, including 13 filed on Christmas Day itself.

The divorce rate comes to head over festive period

Relate indicates that it often receives a peak of calls in January, with issues within relationships having come to a head over the festive period. The New Year can be a time for reflection and considering future plans, and it is therefore perhaps not surprising that people take a look at their relationship at this time also.

The decision to separate is never easy. The issues to be resolved once that decision is made are also difficult and complex, and people often require legal advice to understand their options.

Legal advice on dividing assets after divorce

If a couple owns a house, they will need to think about who will remain living there or whether it should be sold and, if it will be sold, how the sale proceeds should be divided. If either of the parties has a pension, then pension advice may be required to consider the best option for this. While pension sharing orders, which enable part or all of a pension to be transferred between parties on divorce, are available they may not always be the best option.

Other issues can arise, such as what should happen if either of the couple has a business or if they inherited property or assets during the marriage.

Needs of children

And of course, where there are children, both parties will want to ensure the children’s needs will be met in the future.  The courts approach is that the children’s needs will be its first consideration.

No two cases are the same. The circumstances for each couple, both in practical and financial terms, will be different and must be taken into consideration, so any advice needs to be tailored to the specifics of the situation.  It is therefore always advisable to take legal advice if considering a separation or divorce.

For more information on any of the issues raised in this article, or to discuss any questions you have about divorce or separation, please contact Head of the Family Department Philippa Morgan by emailing [email protected] or calling 0117 904 5923.