Monday, 7 January 2013

January Could See Divorces Spike as Legal Aid Cuts are Due to Take Hold



Sadly, January is when many couples with marriage difficulties choose to make a fresh start, with many family lawyers reporting it as their busiest month of the year.
The intensity and pressure of the festive period and couples with children delaying difficult decisions until after Christmas, regularly leads to a rise in divorce figures at this time of year.
 
This year, however, the numbers are expected to be skewed by the imminent cuts to Legal Aid. With public funding no longer available for many family cases from April this year, Resolution’s members are concerned that those who would previously have qualified for Legal Aid may end up falling through the cracks after April.
 
This lack of access to legal advice could see an increase in drawn-out courtroom battles; increased acrimony; and, most worryingly, a detrimental impact on children. Resolution is an organisation of family law practitioners who are committed to helping separating couples resolve their disputes with the minimum of conflict, encouraging them to put any children’s needs first.
 
In a survey of Resolution’s members, most Legal Aid practitioners believed less than a quarter of their cases would continue to be eligible for public funding after April this year. This may help the Government cut spending, but there’s a bigger social cost in the long run.
 
Resolution members - particularly those taking on Legal Aid cases – certainly don’t see busy periods as a cause for celebration. Indeed, any rise we see this year could be the tip of the iceberg, as we could see just as many people next year who are not able to access advice that helps support them through their separation.
 
Those facing separation and divorce are encouraged to speak with a Resolution member about their options, regardless of whether they currently qualify for Legal Aid.
 
Divorce and separation will always be a painful time, but it doesn’t need to be the bitter fight you often see in the media, taking years to settle and costing the couple huge sums of money. There are affordable and effective ways that you both can reach an agreement, ensuring any children’s best interests are put first and that the courtroom is avoided wherever possible.
 
Resolution recently published a guide to these options, called SeparatingTogether, and I would urge anyone who is facing separation or divorce to read this before going any further.
 
Many of our members will offer a free or fixed-price initial meeting to talk through your options, so even if you will no longer qualify for Legal Aid, it’s well worth talking to a Resolution member about a way forward that works for you, as it could end up saving you money.

5 comments:

mery johnson said...

This is really a busy month for lawyer due to numerous divorce cases, myself Lisa R. Zonder and as a family lawyer i can better understand. But this may seem like funny that most of the couples comes for divorce in January month are those who actually not sure about. They are just somewhere either influenced by others or just having a mind set that they can start a new life in new year.

Tulsa Divorce Lawyer said...

Here in Tulsa, January is one of the slowest months for divorce practicioners. Typically, potential divorcees spend all of their money at Christmas, and then spend the month of January worrying about how they are going to pay their monthly bills.

Jackson Tremaine said...

Two of my dearest friends are considering divorce as we speak. One of them has already contacted a local lawyer, Mckinley Irvin. I've been surfing the net, looking for info on how to support my friend, and I happened to end up at http://www.mckinleyirvin.com. Statistics upon the website place the U.S. divorce rate at four divorces per minute. I wonder if this goes up in January, or if it's the average across the board? Anyway, very curious numbers, the percentages which I'd always though obscure and not related to me. And now I might be party to one of the statistics.

Bill Stewart said...

My divorce lawyer in oakville said that January was the busiest time of year for them as well. What is it about January? I should really be asking why the divorce rates keep climbing. What happened in society for these rates to climb so much?

Thomas said...

Well that's strange, this side of the pond (UK) I can't see a general pattern for Divorce.
You might think January might be one of the big months for Divorce, but no.
It's a bit like the traffic in the Town center, totally unpredictable.