Coping with separation in the New Year

Along with gym memberships, cases of separation and divorce surge in the early part of the New Year. The theory for this surge is simply that people think just get through Christmas and make a fresh start in the New Year

But unlike the average fitness programme, separation or divorce are somewhat more final with more wide-reaching implications. It is far from an easy decision to separate from your partner and most people will have put the needs of their children first over the celebratory period, ensuring that they have not been exposed to conflict or ill-feeling.

If you have managed to cope and maintain a happy aura through the festive season - a time which can be stressful for anyone, let alone those going through difficult family periods - why not then try to carry this through the next difficult period?

Unfortunately, the very nature of a separation means that it will sometimes result in conflict; whether relating to your finances, children or any other external factor. However, if you can both agree from the outset to try and maintain good relations and a relatively positive spirit throughout the duration of the separation or divorce for the good of your children, you may well succeed.

Admittedly this will not be easy and hostilities will rise from time to time. Even with the best will in the world, conflict can rub off onto your children and indeed other family members, sometimes with irreparable results. Our advice is simply to try your best not to involve the children in your anxieties and frustrations; you can always let off steam to your close friends (or even your solicitor!).

There appears to be a perception that a divorce, separation or dissolution of a civil partnership is always bitter affair. Certainly the cases which get reported in the press will suggest this to be the norm. Our experience, however, is that such cases are quite rare and there will often be solicitors working away in the background trying to minimise the conflict between their respective clients. Discussions with your partner early on in the process about the effects of the situation on your children and agreeing how you will handle things will go a long way to helping your children cope with the situation.

If things start to get out of hand, there are many ways in which disputes can be resolved in family law, including mediation, collaborative law and arbitration. We recommend that you take advice on dispute resolution when making your first call to a solicitor (which is normally free of charge).

Choosing a solicitor can be daunting, but finding a solicitor who is a member of Resolution is a good place to start. Solicitors who are members of Resolution are committed to resolving family law issues in an amicable way.

At Emsleys, our family solicitors are all members of Resolution. We have years of experience in divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships. We are experts in resolving financial matters, disputes over children arrangements and international divorce cases.

For a free initial chat, call our family team today on 0113 201 4900 or email

Gabbie  Clasper

Written by

Gabbie Clasper

Head of Family Law

Gabbie has over 20 years’ experience in family law. She has expert knowledge in complex issues including financial aspects following divorce; pre and post-nuptial agreements; cases with an international element; and civil partnerships. Gabbie is regularly instructed by clients based across the country and abroad. She...

Back to Blog