Does the family that plays together, stay together?

High days and holidays, particularly long bank holiday periods such as Christmas and Easter, often involve over-indulgence such as excessive drinking. When coupled with spending more time with family than most of us are used to, not to mention often unrealistic expectations of having a good time, any cracks within a relationship will inevitably start to show. All these ingredients cause heightened emotions, resulting in saying or doing something that you may later wish you hadn’t.

The culmination of these feelings can unfortunately lead many couples to breaking point and ultimately divorce, particularly if there are already issues of contention within the relationship. Alternatively, it may be that a couple has already decided to separate, but agreed not to tell the children or make it official until after the holidays.

Coping with a relationship breakdown over holiday periods

Facing the fact that your relationship has come to an end at any time of year is immensely difficult, but addressing this fact when everyone else appears to be enjoying family time together may make it that much harder.

However, it is essential to focus on the practicalities to help the legal proceedings run as smoothly as possible. This includes being aware of how your children will be feeling, reviewing your joint finances, considering where you will live once you are separated and how you will break the news to your family and friends. The last point may seem quite low down on your list of priorities at this early stage, but saying something in an attempt to turn a mutual friend or member of your former partner’s family against them could stir up issues in the future.

Working through your separation

The family law team at Slater Heelis encourages couples to seek alternative dispute resolution, this enables families to discuss their situation while keeping the lines of communication open in order to make important decisions quickly and together. Mediation can be particularly helpful from a child’s perspective, as it allows him or her to see mum and dad working together. Mediation helps remove the feeling that sides must taken – a common burden for children of divorcing parents.

However, if you feel that mediation would be inappropriate for your personal situation, our family law solicitors can also provide you with a collaborative law service, or more traditional negotiations between solicitors.

Slater Heelis is a Manchester based law firm with years of experience working with couples and their families as they go through this difficult time in their lives. If you are currently separated from your partner and would like to discuss your next step with a member of our family law team of solicitors, please contact us on 0161 969 3131 for more information.