The media do love a sensationalist divorce headline: whether it’s about quickie divorces, ongoing maintenance for wives or divorce day. They just want to sell papers or get clicks online. The fact that the divorce process takes the same time for everyone (about 4 to 6 months), regardless of whether you have ever been in Hello magazine, is neither here nor there. So often the headline focusses on a single fact which is actually not the most important part at all. They shriek about setting precedents in cases that are often unique (or approaching unique) on their facts.
The newest phenomenon seems to be divorce day that is now cropping up every year. Frankly January is depressing enough without the need for such stories. Who dreams these up? It seems to be in a similar category to the announcement of the point in the year when you start working to earn money yourself rather than HMRC. These headlines are a twisted representation of the truth and they focus on the depressing, woe filled and “victim mentality” side of things.
New year is often a time to kick start a more organised regime and I wonder how many people finally sort out getting their cars serviced, investigating a remortgage as well as finding out what might happen if they separate from their partner. Many people live in relationships that they may not regard as happy and we wonder whether enquiries to Relate and other such marriage guidance services also increase in January? Clearly we’re trying to enliven and improve our relationship is not such an attractive headline.
The constructive and the optimistic stories about couples separating and making arrangements that put their children first struggle to get place in newspaper stories for most of the year but especially in January. For this reason, and so many others, we are proud to be supporting and making noise about Family Mediation week from 11th to 15th January. This is an opportunity to turn negative stories about marriages ending and warring parties into positive stories about how parents separated and children were listened to and heard and not exposed to conflict. It may not sell papers but we think it’s the story that should be told and the one that we’d rather go to sleep thinking about.
That’s why anyone booking an appointment with us during that week (whether or not the appointment takes place in that week) will get 25% off their initial appointment meeting fee. That includes the fees for both parties’ initial meetings. If you’re interested in talking to us more about how mediation helps separating couples to resolve matters amicably, constructively and with an emphasis on good communication then please get in touch or pass our details to someone who this might help.
If you’d like more details about family mediation week and how you can help spread positive news stories about divorce in January then visit www.familymediationweek.org.uk or follow Family Mediation week on twitter or Facebook.