Specialist Family Lawyer Says Trivial Matters May Mask Bigger Problems
Expert family lawyers at law firm Irwin Mitchell say divorcing couples must not be afraid to discuss the reason for their split after new research revealed 22% were embarrassed to admit why they were going separate ways.
Alison Hawes, a Partner and specialist divorce lawyer at the leading national law firm, said it is vital couples are open about why the relationship is no longer working as it may highlight wider problems and prevent long-term feelings of resentment which would otherwise prevent a couple from reaching a final settlement.
It follows research released today which revealed three in 10 divorcing couples cite domestic issues as playing a key factor leading to divorce.
The research, carried out by cleaning company Vileda, shows infidelity is still the most common reason causing 40% of couples to split, but it is closely followed by household issues and partners not doing their fair share of chores.
And 22% of divorcing couples said they were embarrassed to admit the reason for their break-up because it sounded trivial and not serious enough.
Findings suggest the average couple argue about cleaning issues three times a month for a full nine months before parting but 17 per cent admitted the rows went on for more than two years.
Alison Hawes, a specialist family lawyer from Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office, said: “When a relationship has run its course or is going through a difficult patch smaller issues can be magnified and cause even more resentment amongst couples.
“If a couple feel able to discuss the reasons for the breakdown of their relationship, it is likely to create an open and honest environment for discussions about the children and finances.
“This may mean that a couple feel comfortable reaching an agreement through mediation or even sitting around the kitchen table and they will be less likely to end up going to court.
“There is often a larger reason for a break-up, such as drifting apart or financial worries but it can be the smaller issues, such as not fairly splitting domestic chores that can be the final straw for couples.
“If you are aware of the reasons for the breakdown of your relationship, it can even help your lawyer to understand the dynamic of the relationship with your ex-husband or ex-wife so they can tailor the approach to reaching a settlement to your circumstances.
“Discussing these matters sensibly as they arise will help prevent long-term bitterness and will often point out wider problems in a relationship that are more serious.
“Someone not pulling their weight around the house might be a result of feelings that their partner does not put enough effort into other areas of the relationship such as quality family time or financial contributions. It is only by discussing these feelings that couples can decide whether both parties are prepared to put in time to make the marriage work.”