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Rebecca Jones

Partner - West Kent (Hadlow)

8th January 2024

Divorce Day: Navigating the Journey Ahead

“Divorce Day”: Monday, 8th January 2024, marks the annual surge in enquiries about separation and divorce. It’s a time when couples reassess their relationships after the festive season. What is essential, however, is to recognise how difficult the choice to separate can be. In the vast majority of cases, a separation is not a quick decision made on one particular day, and the well-used media term “Divorce Day” does not properly represent the path taken by those involved.

Ever since the implementation of the No Fault Divorce law in April 2022, there has been a consistent rise in the number of divorcing couples. This legal provision permits couples to jointly acknowledge that their marriage has irretrievably broken down, prompting their desire to seek a divorce, and the process is considerably simpler. For more details, read our blog on the No Fault Divorce.

While the start of the new year is often a peak for separating couples, 2024 may be different as new research published by Legal & General shows the cost of living crisis has delayed more than 270,000 couples from separating (being 13%). The emotional challenges of divorce are well-known, but there are key financial implications many might not consider when the economy suffers, which can make separating economically unfeasible. In the face of inflation and increasing interest rates, and the increasing cost of living, families experience immense pressure. These challenges can prevent them from selling and purchasing new homes, as they struggle to manage higher mortgage rates, as well as the costs associated with maintaining two separate households. Seeking early legal advice on your options from our solicitors here at Rix & Kay can help you assess what path best suits you and your family going forward.

In two out of five divorces research has found that people felt that their financial settlement on divorce was unfair. Despite this, only 7% seek financial advice as part of the process. Paula Llewellyn, Managing Director (Direct), Legal & General Retail, says “When people divorce, money is always an important factor especially during the challenges of the cost-of-living crisis. However, as our research shows a separation can have long-term implications for people’s finances. Many couples have not even sorted the necessary paperwork to ensure they have a clean break from their financial obligation to one another. By consulting a financial adviser people increase the likelihood of a divorce being fair and equal. While the number of people seeking out this support has increased in recent years, we need to encourage more couples to take this step.”

Here at Rix & Kay, we work closely with financial advisers and pension actuaries, ensuring each of our clients is aware of the benefits of involving other professionals in the divorce process. By tapping into these resources, couples have a firmer understanding of the longer-term implications on their finances.

It’s crucial to highlight that even if couples agree on financial matters during divorce, it’s essential to consult a solicitor. While the divorce process itself has become simpler, financial matters are dealt with separately and resolving these remains complex. It is imperative that couples obtain a consent order recording the terms of their financial agreement, which our team can assist you with. Without this legal document, which is approved by the court, individuals remain financially tied to each other even after they divorce.

Contact Us

Navigating divorce is a challenging journey, especially when financial matters come into play. As “Divorce Day” arrives, it serves as a reminder to prioritise investing in legal advice for a smooth transition into the next chapter, and so we may guide you towards securing a stable financial future. Contact Rebecca Jones on our Family team for further assistance.