See Newcastle’s Top Divorce and Family Law firm’s article in the North East Times:

January:  the traditional month for re-ordering your life,  joining a gym, vowing never to drink again, and contemplating a fresh start. It is also the month in which divorce rates traditionally soar, with the month sometimes seeing as many as twice the average number of couples beginning divorce proceedings as in any of time of the year.

Whether it be the stress of the festive period, unrealistic expectations of a “perfect” Christmas, spending time with extended family, or even office party indiscretions, it seems that for many couples, Christmas is the final straw in their relationship, and is certainly not a merry time.

The idea of starting afresh in the new year and reinventing yourself may be an attractive one, but the reality often doesn’t match up. On the one hand, the word divorce is heard so frequently and referred to in the media so casually, that it has become a banality – a mere process, while talk of the financial implications of divorce focuses primarily on stereotypes of grasping women and devious husbands, not to mention the “outrageous” fees allegedly charged by lawyers.

Most of this is far from the reality of most divorcing couples’ experiences. Whilst the process of divorce is in itself a procedural exercise, it is the practical and emotional implications of ending a marriage that weigh most heavily: after the decorations are packed away, and the decision to separate becomes a reality, coping with the fallout can be devastating.  This is true even if there is little hostility to the separation.

In pure practical terms, the logistics and financial consequences of separating more often than not mean all parties suffer a distinct change in their standard of living for the worse. There are very few couples who are sufficiently wealthy that they can adapt to two households at a level on par with their joint married status.   Research shows that the change is particularly hard on women with children, which in turn has an impact on the children, not just practically, but emotionally too.

No one, however, is immune to the emotional fallout from the end of a marriage. It’s not unusual to experience anything from fear to relief, betrayal to blame, resentment to guilt. Insecurity and loss of self esteem are common, and these can be the hidden costs of divorce.

Help and understanding can seem scarce, especially if most of your friends remain married. This can lead to loneliness and a sense of isolation in a cycle that requires gargantuan effort to break from. So when it’s all over bar the crying, how do you pick yourself and move on?

Here at Major Family Law, we’ve taken the unique step of offering our clients and potential clients the services of an independent Family Consultant. We acknowledge that it’s not just a good solicitor many people need to guide them through the divorce procedure; they also need emotional and therapeutic support to deal with unresolved feelings associated with the ending of their marriage.

Our consultant is entirely independent and confidential and can offer appointments both on and off site. With 25 years’ experience of working with families dealing with separation and divorce issues, he can assist you to articulate your feelings and thoughts, deal with your fears or concerns, or advise on the sorts of arrangements that are best for children at different ages and in different circumstances, which will allow you to develop the confidence and emotional strength to deal with the legal aspects of the end of your relationship.

His services can be accessed whether or not you have reached the stage where you feel you need to instruct a solicitor, and a number of our clients have already acknowledged the benefits they have felt in using the service.

So if you find yourself starting the new year with a new start, make sure you start as you mean to go on!

Joanne Major is the principal and a trained Collaborative Lawyer of Major Family Law, the Divorce and Family Law Specialists, 12 West Road,  Ponteland, Newcastle Upon Tyne.   T: 01661  82 45 82 Twitter: @majorfamilylaw