January is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year
for Family Lawyers. The volume of new clients seeking advice
on divorce is higher than at any other time of the year.
There are no doubt many reasons for this marital strife but
the prolonged holiday period, stuck in the house in bad
weather together, constant pressure to have a jolly time and
the arrival of the first heavy Credit Card bills of the New
Year due to the extravagant Christmas spend all conspire to
widen existing fault lines in relationships into an
unbridgeable crevasse. Here we take a (semi) serious look
at the problems which divorce lawyers often hear about in
January, and offer our top ten tips to avoid marital
1. DO NOT believe your wife when she says that she
doesn't want anything this year. This might be a commentary
on your total failure to select anything to her taste in
previous years but is definitely a test of your
thoughtfulness, imagination and attention to what she has
been hinting at for months. Of course what she is really
saying is that she doesn't want any (old) thing this year.
Fail this test and you are toast.
2. DO ask your wife in plenty of time what she would
actually like as a present, carefully write it down, and
then buy it and give it to her. Don't quibble with the
cost, just give thanks for clear concise risk free
instructions. Flowers and a box of chocs purchased just
before midnight on Xmas Eve at your all night Tesco on the
way home from a few drinks with the lads will not cut it.
3. DO NOT settle down in front of the telly on Christmas
Eve and not move until New Year's Day. A husband once made
that mistake and was astonished when his wife appeared in
front of him with her bags packed. She was also carrying a
pair of garden shears, which she used to cut the plug off the
TV he was watching, taking it with her (along with every
other plug in the house) as she walked out the door.
4. DO NOT buy your husband socks and handkerchiefs for
Christmas under any circumstances. He may well need them
however, although useful, they are no fun at all. The
supplies he already has will do for another couple of weeks
until you can get to the January Sales. Golf equipment is
also a no no. Wandering round the Golf Discount Store for
hours on end is the only time that he derives pleasure from
shopping and he does not wish to be deprived of this.
5. DO Sky plus everything that you would want to see on
the telly. You can then give your wife exclusive control of
the TV remote over the period without any sense of
frustration or irritation. This goes down very well and
you never know she may put something on which is to your
taste. Alternatively you can have a snooze or play with
your new socks and hankies instead.
6. DO NOT tell your wife that you have arranged an
increase in the overdraft to ease financial pressures over
the festive period. Overdrafts are not free as once had to
be explained to one lady after she immediately wrote a
cheque up to the new limit and paid it straight into her
Personal Savings Account.
7. DO make your wife breakfast in bed on Christmas
morning. This must be scrambled eggs* with smoked salmon
and a decent bottle of champagne. * (Consult the unwanted,
and from her point of view, offensive book, Delia's "How to
Cook" that you gave her last year. In our experience Delia
is nowhere near as highly regarded by women as she is by
8. DO take the animals out for a walk on Christmas Day to
get them out from under your wife's feet. You will also get
extra brownie points if you take the dogs with you as well.
9. DO NOT, in a mellow moment, and in the spirit of a
clean start to the New Year confess to the innocuous
flirtation you had with the attractive girl in typing at the
office party. This will never go down well and is liable to
be cast at you for the next 20 years. Further she may feel
obliged to make similar confessions to you. All in all not
a good idea.
10. DO have a very Merry Christmas, but if not, your
divorce lawyer looks forward to seeing you in the New Year.
About the Author:
McKay Norwell are Edinburgh Lawyers serving individual and
business clients across Scotland: