When Summer Spells the End of Your Marriage

Every year in the UK, 150,000 marriages end in divorce. Which, in case you’re interested, equates to a staggering 13 divorces an hour! Bleak? Perhaps…but it’s true nevertheless. And, as if that wasn’t enough, in 2012, Leicester was ranked the 5th highest city in terms of divorce applications
We can elaborate further: roughly half of all marriages end in divorce (42% to be precise) but, did you know that a percentage of those divorces are as a direct result of the summer holidays? In fact, it’s second only to the Christmas period. 
Emma Mitchell one of the Partners at Leicester’s leading solicitors, Emery  Johnson Astills, a specialist family lawyers dealing in resolving family divorce settlements, is armed and ready for the inevitable deluge of divorce enquiries that inevitably ensue after a summer holiday has turned into a heartbreak hotel. We catch up with Emma Mitchell to find out more…
“I think that nationwide the interest in divorce peaks in September and January because of long strained holidays. If you think about it, holidays are normally coupled for some people with alcohol and confinement, and if there are already strains in the relationship, then what should be a relaxing family holiday becomes anything but,” Emma quotes.
Whilst, undoubtedly, many holidays do save marriages, almost as many don’t. Regardless of the specific reasons, according to a recent study, 18% of couples seem to reassess their marital situation following an unsuccessful summer soiree. The stress, financial constraint, or, simply, a lack of love – whatever the exact cause - it seems that couples tend to treat Summer recess as the final ‘one last chance’ frontier before seeking divorce proceedings. “Emery Johnson Astills provides a “non-confrontational” divorce service that aims to minimise the stress of a messy marital breakup and help negotiate a workable and fair solution for all involved. Although it’s fair to say that sometimes couples have a change of heart when normality sets back in and frayed tempers can simmer down”, Emma explains.
“Some clients simply want information on their rights, obligations, process, options and cost and have yet to make a decision on what they wish to do”, Emma suggests when speaking of the process. “Some clients don’t wish to go ahead on the strength of this information and process and decide to maintain the status quo. Others might get the information and mull it over – sometimes for a couple of years. For the more determined, they instruct us immediately after that initial meeting. Every case is different, but we are always keen that they should always go away and think about what we have said with no commitment or obligation. Obviously, it’s always entirely confidential, too at these initial stages”.
As an independent law firm of twenty years, Emery Johnson Astills is a member of Resolution, the organisation founded to prevent the legal process itself from increasing acrimony between separating couples, no matter what their age, background or sexuality. The firm is heavily involved in the LGBT
community, too and Emma and her team have extensive experience dealing with both same sex and heterosexual marriage and civil partnership conflicts.
“There is no difference between same sex marriages and straight marriages: it’s marriage. Their ability to claim for income, capital, property and pension is all the same. Where the law is different is for couples who are unmarried, even if they have been in a relationship for twenty years, have children and property together! This is under review all the time but this law is very different and rights are very limited, which is why it helps to have a well briefed and expert solicitor fighting your corner, if you need it”.
Currently one of the only Resolution firms in Leicestershire, Emery Johnson Astills offers both mediation and collaborative law soliciting to ensure a more dignified separation. Resolution’s core aims are to act in the best interests of any children that may also be involved in the separation, to fully consider long and short term implications, and to conduct honest, and non-confrontational proceedings. As a result, Emery Johnson Astill’s solicitors provide two methods of divorce settlement that seek to avoid court proceedings.
The first, called Mediation Technique, is now legally required to be considered by couples when undergoing a separation. Potentially a quicker and more cost effective method, Mediation attempts to reach a “sensible and practical solution” to a divorce through a series of meetings between you and your partner, chaired by an Emery Johnson Astills Resolution Mediator. These meetings are encouraged to be honest, frank, but utterly non-confrontational, as a qualified solicitor guides you through the decision making process to accommodate both parties involved without the need for court intervention and lengthy and, or, costly procedures.
The second is called Collaborative Law. Much like Mediation, Collaborative Law seeks to agree divorce matters in a dignified, non aggressive manner.  However Collaborative Law assembles you, your partner and your respective solicitors in meetings to negotiate agreements and resolve financial or other issues, without the involvement of the courts. Should you or your partner choose Mediation or Collaborative Law, you are protected by the expert advice of your Emery Johnson Astills Resolution solicitor, and you will feel you have more control over events because you don’t have to let a judge make decisions on matters which are important to you.
But, as Emma points out, if these forms of resolution fail, “We will back you every inch of the way and fight your case in the courtroom. We are hugely experienced at this, so you can have confidence that you have a winning team in your corner”.
For more information or to speak to Emery Johnson Astills’ Divorce team, call 0116 255 4855 or find them online at www.johnsonastills.com