MOST people will have started 2019 with a flourish of positivity, but for some a New Year celebration is not guaranteed. If you find yourself in that situation, solicitors at Tilly Bailey & Irvine have some advice to help you turn it around...

Christmas is traditionally a time for families to come together and celebrate, but unfortunately the festive period can also be stressful for families and family relationships, and the added expense of this time of year can cause financial strain which can lead to further fall out.

Christmas = divorce season?

If problems escalate victims of domestic violence should always contact the police in the first instance. Police statistics show that between December 15, 2017 and January 16, 2018 there were a total of 2,656 calls for help in relation to domestic abuse – 82 fewer than in 2016. On New Year’s Day there were 139 calls, down from 175.

“Couples may endure tensions when spending long periods of time together,” says Shamin Ali, a family solicitor at Tilly Bailey & Irvine. “For couples who are already experiencing difficulties in their marriage, the end of the year can increase the stresses and strains of normal family life to a personal low point.

“In some cases the police can issue a restraining order against the offender or steps can be taken through the courts to protect members of the family who may be at risk.”

Contact arrangements regarding children can also cause issues for separated families. If possible it is best to ensure that both the parents and children know which parent the children should be with and when.

Forward planning is important, so plan your contact early and try to agree contact arrangements in plenty of time. If matters can’t be agreed, mediation should be attempted. If agreement still can’t be reached an application can be made to the court for a Child Arrangement Order, which can define contact arrangements.

New year, new you?

Positivity is the key word, and there are many ways that the right legal support can put a spring into your step in 2019.

The first of these is completing a will or Family Trust.

Many people put this off, but setting out the right plan with a solicitor will pay huge dividends for your family after you’ve gone.

Similarly, you may want to give back to others besides those closest to you. You can do this by including a charity donation in your will.

Maybe you have a new business plan on your radar for the year ahead. Corporate and commercial business requires the right legal support by your side to make it count, whether it be dealing with property, investments, acquisitions or solving disputes.

Tilly Bailey & Irvine is here to help you if your new year didn’t start the way you intended or if you want to ensure your plans for the future are put into place. Contact 0333 4444422 or visit its offices in Stockton, Hartlepool, Wynyard or Barnard Castle.