Model and actress Emily Ratajkowski has recently said in a TikTok that she finds it ‘chic’ to be divorced. Ratajkowski goes on to say she doesn’t think there is anything better and she urges people not to feel stressed about it. Whilst we endorse the view that ultimately it is good for people to make decisions which feel right and make them happier, it does not take away from the fact that divorce can place real pressure on people. It is not all plain sailing.
We see the toll that going through divorce and separation takes on many individuals as it often involves processing a myriad of emotions whilst with the added complexity of adjusting to new norms in terms of finances and the children.
In terms of the emotional aspect, going through a divorce has often been likened to a grieving process. This can take time to deal with and with issues like finances and children to be resolved whilst battling with the emotional turmoil, it can lead to clouded judgment and decisions being made which are regretted later down the line.
We have found that some individuals are now coming to us seeking family law advice and looking to unpick decisions or financial agreements made some years ago at the time of separation. The decisions were often made without the benefit of legal advice at the time or perhaps one party had legal advice and not the other. In some cases legal advice was disregarded as the process became too stressful or costly. Only with hindsight is it clear that it is vital to not only seek specilaist family law advice but to act on it.
Whilst this is something we are able to assist with and advise on, it highlights the importance of seeking the right advice at the right time (and from the right people!). It is crucial that for individuals who are distressed with clouded judgment seek advice from specialist solicitors who deal with family law cases day in day out.
Our top tips
1. Seek advice as soon as possible
We understand that this might be difficult for some and probably the last thing people want to do however it truly is the best step to take. It is important to be clear from the outset about what options are available and the routes that can be taken.
For us, client’s best interests are paramount – and this includes being transparent on what they are entitled to (financial claims), the financial procedure, what orders/agreements will actually mean practically moving forwards and things to consider in the future. We always ensure to be transparent on legal costs too – so that clients can properly fund their cases.
At a time when individuals’ judgment can be so clouded, it is crucial that advice is sought from specialist solicitors who can assist and make sure that nothing is blindly agreed to.
Whilst some people feel ready to take action straight away, we also find that some people take initial advice at the time and do not do anything then, with a view to taking the relevant steps a few months later. For some this can be more beneficial as they have taken the time to reflect on the advice and the situation. It very much depends on the circumstances and the person’s feelings on the situation.
2. Don’t rush
Many people feel that they need to rush into agreeing to something either because of the children or the living situation or simply because they just want things over with as soon as possible. We understand this mentality, however in the long term this is not always the best approach. This links back in with our first tip, seek the advice and then take things from there.
It is better to pause and think ahead rather than feel tied in knots with an agreement you are eventually unhappy with. Prevention is better than a cure!
3. Don’t feel forced into agreeing anything
We often hear of individuals who feel forced into agreeing to something and are led to believe there is no other alternative. There are always more ways than one for issues to be resolved and it is important not to be pressurised into settling matters on a basis that is more beneficial to one party.
4. Speak to friends and family
It is important to have a support network and to seek professional help if it is needed. There is no need for individuals experiencing divorce and separation to feel alone – a problem shared is a problem halved!
It can also be useful to bring a friend or family member to an initial consultation, as they can then be a useful sounding board. It is not essential however we have seen it happen and it can help.
If you or someone you know is currently experiencing divorce/financial/children issues and needing advice, please do get in touch with the specialist team at Maguire Family Law and we will be happy to help.