Divorce during a cost-of-living crisis

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Samantha Bushell

Initiating divorce proceedings at any time can be a life-changing and heartbreaking decision to make, but the current economic climate can add to the stress as well as the final resolution.

Sam Bushell, Family Law Expert and Managing Director at Liverpool and Southport based law firm Brown Turner Ross has highlighted some major issues facing couples trying to navigate a divorce during the current cost of living crisis. Many relationships that were strained prior to the soaring interest rate rises and energy cost crisis of 2022/2023 have buckled under the strain and new petitions for divorce are increasing.

Whilst the introduction of the ‘No Fault Divorce’ legislation has made the legal process simpler to navigate, the effect of the cost-of-living crisis can be a difficult one to dissect as the current economic climate impacts many of the financial considerations for a final resolution. Valuations of shareholdings, properties, business assets and pensions have in many cases changed dramatically over the past year as has the cost of keeping a home and children post separation and divorce.

Sam said: “Making the decision to divorce is a difficult one, but trying to negotiate the ever-changing economic landscape during a cost-of-living crisis is where expertise and solid advice and guidance becomes even more vital. Divorce is a complex process, coupled with highly charged and often emotional clients, solid legal advice can save a lot of time, money and heartache in the long-term”.

Sam has given her top five tips to consider:-

  1. Be realistic about the standard of living you enjoyed during the marriage. Don’t be persuaded by lawyers that your soon-to-be ex-spouse is hiding something when in reality you know that is unlikely. Substantial amounts can be spent in legal fees investigating dead-ends and making fruitless enquiries to both parties’ costs.
  1. Focus on a fair resolution, try to take the emotion out and not battle with your ex-spouse. This can make the process more protracted and expensive.
  1. Where relevant, always focus on the children and make sure they are not part of any form of dispute ensuring that unless in the most exceptional circumstances they have a meaningful relationship with both parents. 
  1. The age old buy cheap buy twice motto. Be careful of low-cost websites dealing with the divorce that offer the world. They invariably fail to deliver ultimately requiring more expense with other lawyers. Alternatively, be careful with lawyers that are not specialist matrimonial lawyers and have not been recommended to you.  Consider always going with a member of Resolution.
  1. Finally, whilst everybody is under immense pressure financially be sure, particularly when there are children involved, that you have explored every possible avenue before making a very difficult decision to separate. Sometimes early intervention can save a marriage.

The law firm, founded in Southport in 1884, has become one of the North West’s leading law firms that specialise in family, private client, corporate and commercial property, housing disrepair and dispute resolution work .

Email: law@brownturnerross.com

Southport office: 01704 542002

Liverpool office: 0151 236 2233

Website: www.brownturnerross.com

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