LibraryNew Year, new start - but how can you avoid your divorce turning ugly?

New Year, new start - but how can you avoid your divorce turning ugly?

After many warring couples cope with the pressure cooker that is Christmas – January and a new start to a new year is often the time to call it a day. 

It is well documented by many law firms around the country that January is a peak time for estranged couples to begin divorce proceedings.

However, separating can often mean a lengthy, stressful and miserable process for both parties – so how can dignity be maintained in divorce?

In the experience of Buckles Solicitors LLP, many feuding couples begin the process long before the festive period – using a New Year as the deadline for divorcing.

Relationship breakdowns can be stressful at any time – but add children into the mix, and the pressure on both parties is certain to escalate.

Whether you are on the brink of formally separating from a spouse or partner, family lawyers from Buckles Solicitors have some sensitive advice on divorcing with as much dignity as possible.

Buckles family mediator and collaborative lawyer Lyn Brisley said: “Christmas can increase the stresses of family life for couples who are experiencing relationship difficulties, and for many, the festive period can feel like a claustrophobic and even isolating time.

“January is often a time when people make a conscious decision to get their lives in order. Having some kind of plan or coping mechanism if you are still living with your partner can help.”


  • Visiting a family mediator/collaborative lawyer from the outset to set out the legal guidelines and give both parties a clear view of the legal process and timetable
  • Creating a parenting plan that puts the children first. Agreed by you both, it should ideally cover contact arrangements, holidays and keeping each other informed about illness and school-related activities
  • Avoiding confrontation and playing the blame game. Try not to trade insults in front of the children and make them feel like the situation is their fault. It is parents who divorce, not children
  • Circumstances sometimes mean that couples may still have to live together in the lead up to, during and even after the divorce. Discuss important issues like: dealing with finances, where you will sleep, what is your personal space and what to share – ie food, chores etc.