Wednesday, 17 December 2008

An unhappy Christmas?

Shropshire couples who find the festive season taking a toll on their relationship should not make any hasty decisions. Nadia Davis, who leads our Family Team, said legal practices regularly saw an increase in divorce cases following the stresses and strains of the Christmas break.

“Although for many people, one of the best parts of Christmas is spending time with family, for others, it’s a time of year which can be incredibly difficult. We’re all expected to spend time with relatives we may not see from one Christmas to the next, and it can be an extremely intense experience which leads to some relationships cracking under the pressure.”

But Nadia said it was important for families to think extremely carefully before taking drastic action which could bring serious consequences.

“If things get heated, take time out and diffuse the situation – walk away from arguments which threaten to escalate, and really consider whether things have broken down irretrievably.”

If a couple feels there is no alternative but to begin divorce proceedings, Nadia said keeping communication channels open with discussions and negotiations could make a huge difference.

“This kind of collaborative approach is particularly good when children are involved, and matters are resolved through a series of meetings. The couple commit to not going to court except to rubber stamp the deal when an agreement has been reached. At such a difficult time, it may seem like you’ll never be able to resolve your differences, but the collaborative approach has a high success rate, and could be well worth your patience in the longer-term.”