The New Year and life changing decisions

This week is earmarked to be the most popular week for unhappy couples to start divorce proceedings. It is a nationwide trend that has led to the first full working week of the New Year dubbed as divorce week by many.

However, those with children, should be aware of the impact on their children whilst their parents go through a divorce. Divorce can lead to children achieving poor exam results and turning to drugs to ease their stress, a report has found. The survey of 500 children and young people aged 14 to 22 was commissioned by Resolution reported that almost two thirds of children whose parents divorced said that the breakup affected their GCSEs, while 1 in 8 turned to drugs or alcohol. Jo Edwards, the Chairman of Resolution said “The findings underline just how important it is that parents going through a split manage a separation in a way that minimises the stress and impact on the entire family.”

With the above in mind, many may wish to have a Pre-nuptial Agreement in place before tying the knot, as it may ease the way for many at a later stage, if their marriage is not as successful as they had hoped. It could also reduce the negative impact of a messy and difficult divorce on any children they may have together. Only last year, the Law Commission proposed that Prenuptial Agreements, which allow couples to draft their own divorce settlements should become legally binding. Many divorce lawyers, including myself, back the plans, welcoming the prospect of such agreements becoming more common place, rather than being associated with the wealthy elite. Baroness Deech, Chair of the Bar Standards Board and an independent Peer of the House of Lords, is currently working on a private members bill that would make Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements binding. Under the proposed legislation, if a couple gets divorced, there would be a division of all the property they acquired after they were married but not the assets they owned beforehand.

If you are making a life changing decision and would like to obtain some expert advice about going through a divorce or entering into a pre-nuptial agreement, then please contact our family law solicitor, Satvinder Sokhal on 020 8280 2710.