Is your marriage really at an end?

There are plenty of myths around about marriage. We’re guessing you know the sort of thing we mean; those notions that a proportion of the population believe about any given topic that actually, on closer examination, turn out to be totally unhelpful or untrue. Top of our list of marriage myths that need to be dispelled here at Prince Family Law, are ‘a fancy wedding day makes for a great marriage’, ‘having a baby will bring a couple closer together’, and perhaps the most pervasive of them all, that the idea that the ‘grass is greener’. We probably all, if we are honest, miss the heady days at the start of our relationship, when we felt alive, full of romance, and that time was standing still. Now, the reality of who loads the dishwasher, takes the bin out, or gets a couple of hours away from the kids to do some exercise or see friends, has become the norm. We perhaps all of us wonder, from time to time, if another version of ourselves is having a different, more exciting life, somewhere else.

We share all this with you in the hope that, if you’ve made it as far as reading this page, we can help you pause for thought for a moment. Are you thinking that divorce is on the cards for you and your spouse? Are you searching for a definitive answer to the question of whether you should stay and try to make it work or cut your losses and leave? This recent piece in the Huffington Post examined the causes of marital breakdown. In essence, couples who ignore the issues, take their relationship for granted, don’t learn to communicate with each other, don’t make time for each other and who don’t share the tasks of life evenly are at greater risk of separating than those who do work these things through.

Deciding that you have reached a point of no return is, it almost goes without saying, not an easy matter. We would encourage you, before beginning proceedings, to seek outside help. Relate, the UK’s largest relationship counselling organisation, offers face to face and over the phone support to people in relationship difficulties. You can find out more here. You may also find this well-renowned book by relationship expert John Gottma useful. Of course, your efforts to effect change within your marriage will only work if your partner is on board with the idea too.

While the divorce rate has fallen a little in the UK over the last couple of years, we still have one of the highest rates of divorce in the world. Beyond the very personal nature of this decision, it can be difficult to accept that you are about to become another statistic, just another number in the counting that the Office for National Statistics undertakes. On the other hand, divorce is a legal right, in the sense that if you are in unjust and unhappy circumstances, our modern approach to marriage in this country enables you to make a choice for the better.

If you and your spouse have gone beyond the point of saving your marriage then of course, Prince Family Law is here to support you through the process of separating and divorcing. We actively encourage our clients to consider the collaborative law approach to resolving issues. Indeed, now that legal aid is no longer readily available to divorcing couples we would argue that you may be best served by considering using mediation as a way forward in the first instance.