As the Christmas decorations are put away, sadly lots of couples are considering separation and divorce. The Ministry of Justice has revealed that hundreds of applications were lodged between Christmas and New Year’s Day, some were even lodged on Christmas Day.
In the absence of legal aid for most cases, there has been an increase in the number of people who are going to Court without taking any legal advice. Citizens Advice and Bartons Solicitors are working together to help families who are thinking of separating or divorcing by holding Family Law Clinics across the South Hams.
Citizens Advice South Hams, Advice Services Manager, Teena Barrett says “Lots of clients contact us in January asking for advice on separation, it seems the festive holidays are sometimes the hardest for families. We always talk through options and advise couples to look at mediation but sometimes there is no other way forward but to separate and divorce. The clinics enable clients to talk through issues relating to money and property and help work out arrangements for children. We are always looking to develop the advice and support we offer the local community, so we are delighted to be working with the Bartons’ Family Team.”
Louise Macmillan, Head of Bartons Family Team says “As a locally based company we want to support our community and are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Citizens Advice to do that. A family lawyer can’t tell you whether or not to separate or to change the arrangements for your children but they can definitely help with the process”.
Face to face appointments are available in the Citizens Advice offices, Totnes on the fourth Tuesday of each month and in Quay House, Kingsbridge on the second Thursday of each month. Telephone appointments are available at other times.
The clinic appointments, can be arranged by ringing the Citizens Advice Devon wide Adviceline on 03444 111 444 and asking for a South Hams Family Clinic referral.