Coronavirus: Self-isolation and Divorce
Nation’s top divorce lawyers have started to warn about potential of soaring divorce numbers, as more and more families face spending extended time locked together in the house.
Our divorce solicitors are used to getting disproportionate amount of cases right after the summer school break is over, as well as after Christmas break. In fact, 6 January is colloquially known as the divorce D-day. So what is the reason for such an increase and why do the divorce solicitors expect a rise now?
There is one main reason why divorces rise during the break periods. Summer school holidays, as well as the Christmas period, in most cases means families spend more time together then they do normally. While this is often something most people would consider as desirable, unfortunately, in families with troubled relationships, more time spent together simply brings to the surface and heightens these differences.
The current situation, requiring majority of the population to isolate themselves at home, will have much the same effect. Without the breaks from their day-to-day interaction that work and other social engagements offered, people whose relationships are already in trouble will find themselves at a breaking point and take that step that they perhaps have been debating for a while, but not making. In the case of COVID-19 imposed isolation, things are made even worse by the overall stressfulness of the situation. Many of us are now worried about ourselves and our loved ones, how this outbreak will impact us, our social lives, our businesses. We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation that we were suddenly thrown into with little or no preparation. All these have severe effect on human psyche and can result in difficulties in our ability to stay calm, rational and communicate with our partners and families in a way that deflects, rather than creates conflict. China has already seen similar increase in divorces and many family lawyers in the UK expect to see the same pattern here as well.
How to survive the lockdown without getting a divorce?
As counter intuitive as it may sound, divorce lawyers are perhaps the best placed to ask for tips on this matter. Below are some pointers from our very own, best divorce lawyers:
- Understand who you are and where your journey is taking you.
People we see in our offices are often dissatisfied with their lives, confused about their future and the only available person to blame for it, is their partner. Trying to understand what makes you happy and then discussing with your partner whether there is a possibility of making that journey together can help.
- Consider the reasons for resentment against your partner and then have an open discussion.
It is never a good idea to let the resentment build. Address all the negative feelings head on. Discuss them openly as partners and try to understand where each of you is coming from.
- Treat the time you spend at home due to self-isolation as an occasion to remember the good, rather than the bad in your relationship.
Many of us are prone to remembering the past offences, the failed expectations and the unaired grievances when we have too much time on our hands. Do not let yourself go down that route. If you need to do this, then enlist professional help. Many marriage counsellors offer online sessions, so you can work on your saving your relationship while respecting the government advice to stay home.
What if my marriage fails despite the effort?
Do remember that marriage is a two-way street and unless both of you want to save it and are ready to work hard for it, there can be no success. So, if you find yourself in a situation where you are unwilling or unable to continue with your marriage, there is absolutely no need to despair. All things come to an end and one’s ending is another’s beginning.
If you, therefore, find yourself in a situation where you know there is no salvaging your marriage, then your next steps should be to ensure that you leave your marriage with as little pain and hardship as possible.
Many people avoid speaking to divorce solicitors until things get completely out of hand, fearing that getting lawyers involved will create conflict. Nothing can be further from the truth. A good divorce lawyer can save you a lot of heartache and also a lot of financial ache. Speak to a divorce solicitor as soon as you start contemplating a divorce. But make sure you speak to the right one. Sadly, as in all professions, there are some among the practitioners of family law who fail to understand the principles of resolution that family related legal cases must abide by and create unnecessary conflict, leading to painful divorces and huge legal costs.
How to find the best divorce lawyer for you?
The ‘for you’ part in this subheading is not a case of verbosity. It is crucial to find the best lawyer for you. We often hear from people calling us for the first time, – ‘I need the best divorce solicitors and I was told it is you guys.’ Obviously, we are happy and flattered to hear these words, but what we want the clients to understand and what we take time to explain to them is that there is no best divorce lawyer to fit all shapes and sizes. You need to find the right divorce lawyer for you, the one that understands you, resonates with you. Of course, divorce solicitors who are best at what they do will normally know how to approach each client, but in any event, you need to make sure that your lawyer is the right person for you.
So how to find one? Here are some tips:
- Ask for referrals from people you trust; friends, family, co-workers etc;
Chances are, someone within your circle has already gone through a divorce and had to deal with a divorce lawyer, so you will be able to get some recommendations. Don’t settle for only one referral, get a few names. If you are uncomfortable asking for referrals or cannot get any, then just jump to our 3r tip, on doing your research.
- Ask questions;
Ask the person giving you the referral questions about what it was like working with their divorce lawyer. What they liked, what they didn’t like in the approach, whether they had problems reaching them, whether they felt like they were being listened to or simply given ready-made solutions. Ask whatever question you feel would be relevant to ensure that you will find it easy working with that lawyer. When you gather the information, then do your own research.
- Do your research.
Whether you already have a referral from someone you trust, or you are determined to find the right divorce solicitor on your own, do your research. If you have no referrals, then simply search for divorce solicitors on google or your preferred search engine and go through the websites. If you have a referral, visit the website of the recommended lawyer and then have a look at other divorce lawyers to have means of comparison. Consider whether their website inspires trust in you: does it have enough information for you to have an inkling of what services they provide; does it have information about who the lawyers are; do they specialise in divorces and family law or are they claiming to tackle a wide host of legal issues with their 3 men team?
If the website has a blog, go through the blog and look for stories of success. Often enough the material a firm will put up, will speak to you of what type of people you will be dealing with and you can then make a judgement of whether you would be comfortable with them.
- Look at their reviews.
Don’t bother with the reviews on their website, unless it’s from trusted sources like google that cannot be manipulated. Google reviews are one of the best sources to gouge about the professional standing of any service provider and lawyers are no exception. The reason for this is because the businesses have no control over what is being published as a review. Read through the reviews and you will discover that you can get a sense of the firm’s ethos out of it. For instance, we often hear from people calling us that they found us online, seen our reviews and liked us because it didn’t sound like we only cared about the money. This is the most often heard fear from clients that the lawyer will treat them as simply a fat purse. We therefore make particular effort to ensure that our clients are always aware of what we are doing for them and what we are charging them for. We also approach each case individually and dedicate our full attention to the client. We try to find the best solution for that particular client and this is what gets us the amount of client appreciation that we see. Once you have made your choice, it’s time to get in touch.
- Get in touch.
Call the lawyer you are thinking of hiring. You can also email, but we recommend that you don’t make a decision without speaking to them. You can gather so much from the way a person speaks to you. Did they sounded rushed, did they sounded uninterested, or did they tell you they know how to deal with your case without hearing you out? If any of those, then move along and look for someone else. Make sure that you enjoy speaking to them, that you feel like you are truly being listened to and that you matter. You will be spending quite a lot of time with your divorce lawyer and no matter how good a job they are doing, if you dislike speaking to them, then they are not the right fit for you.
- Don’t make a decision based solely on the fees.
We have seen both extremes of clients: the ones who asked us why weren’t we more expensive if we were so good and others who told us we were more expensive then someone else they spoken to, so they were considering going to them. The truth is, while a good quality service doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, especially with the aid of modern technologies that helps keep costs down, there is almost no chance that very low fees will get you a good service. In fact, in most cases, the very low fees then turn out to not be so low, as you end up paying for all sorts of ‘extra work’. Therefore, consider your overall impression in respect of the lawyer you have spoken to and whether that impression is worth the fees they are asking for. If it is, then you have found your match!