Article in the North East Times

January is the time when we are traditionally encouraged to change. The media cries out for us to alter our diets and lifestyle after  the  excesses  of  Christmas.  The tradition  of New Year resolutions  stretches far back to various religious origins. For instance, the Romans began  each year by making promises to the god, Janus (after whom the month of January is named).

The first Monday of January, is known to divorce lawyers as

‘D-Day’ when many people decide to make a change  and seek advice on ending a marriage. The idea that change is necessary, perhaps unsurprisingly, comes more often at the start of a year. As modern  divorce  lawyers,  those  at  Major  Family Law recognise that there are a number of reasons why people choose to  change  their family life. Change  does  not  need  to  mean conflict. We are committed  to handling change  sensitively and respectfully for all those involved.

This change has many important  consequences emotionally and financially, and a change  to your family can mean change  for the better if handled right; adding value to the old adage that a change is as good as a rest.

Many people  are  surprised  to  hear  that  you  can, in fact, change your divorce solicitor.

Providing some steps are met (for instance fees are paid up to date), you can change who represents you. At Major Family Law, we appreciate that you get one chance to achieve the right outcome for your family.

Change has been an important theme in family law for at least the  last two  years.   Many of you will  have heard  about  the important  changes to practice, including imminent changes to how financial disputes are resolved by the court.

For example, the Law Commission’s Consultation on changing how financial arrangements are resolved on the breakdown of a marriage  proposes  a more  formulaic approach.   There  is an emphasis on seven key values:

• Clarity

• Rationality

• Fairness

• Equality

• Realism

• Support for family relationships

• An expectation that independence is desirable

These are values we already try and adhere to at Major Family  Law. A successful outcome means so much more than one might expect.

That said, at the present  time, judges have a wide discretion on how they divide assets after a divorce, unless parties can agree  between  themselves  or with the  help  of a lawyer or mediator.

Until the time comes when there is a formula to strictly apply, it is time to think about  the changes you can implement: who conducts your case; how it is conducted; and how you meet the cost of this important  life change.

At Major Family Law we are committed  to providing the best options for each individual client. Our website has easy to follow guides and video blogs on changing your family structure with the least disruption.

Change is opportunity. As the late Steve Jobs said: “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, ‘if today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ and whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change  something.”

Family law is changing, families are changing, what do you need to change?

Major Family Law is at 12 West Road, Ponteland, Newcastle, NE20 9SU


Jo Hall, Senior Associate

Major Family Law

Tel: (01661) 824582