The economic downturn is dissuading many feuding Scottish couples from seeking legal advice to solve their quarrels, according to family law firm Gibson Kerr.
The Edinburgh-based legal firm believes that growing numbers of couples are choosing to let their problems fester rather than paying for appropriate legal advice, due to money worries caused by recent public sector job cuts and gloomy economic climate.
Gibson Kerr says it has seen a noticeable decline in enquiries for divorce advice and matrimonial services over the August and September months, which is traditionally a busy time for solicitors and counsellors due to post-holiday tensions among married couples.
And it believes that the trend could be detrimental to many couples in Scotland in the long-term, as they are risking exacerbating their problems further by putting off getting appropriate legal advice or counselling.
Fiona Rasmusen, partner at Gibson Kerr, said: “The end of the summer holidays is usually a very busy time for divorce lawyers and other matrimonial advice firms. Tensions are high as couples emerge from a prolonged period of holiday time together and, aside from the Christmas and New Year period, it can be one of the most stressful times of year for partners.
“In previous years, we have traditionally seen a larger number of calls during the August and September than at any other time during the year outside the festive season. However, this year there has been a marked decline in enquiries, which can only be a result of couples feeling the economic pinch.
“With the economy still in a downturn, and with all of the recent public sector job cuts leading to money worries for many households, it seems that people aren’t willing to make what they deem to be unnecessary purchases – and this includes getting legal advice for their problems.
“The attitude is that it’s preferable to keep the money in the bank and to soldier on with their problems in the hope things get better. But the problem is, of course, that they are risking their relationship breaking down even further by not taking action.
“Visiting a divorce specialist or family lawyer isn’t just something to do once your relationship has broken down beyond repair. It can actually be highly beneficial to seek help at an early stage in order to identify any problems and deal with them swiftly – in order to potentially avoid a messy break-up or divorce down the line.
“Although finances are tight in the current climate, people need to remember that a small expenditure to get suitable marital advice now could avoid an expensive court battle in the future and, potentially, even avoid a break-up altogether.”
Gibson Kerr is a family-run law firm that has been established in Edinburgh for more than 100 years. It has an excellent reputation for providing a comprehensive service encompassing both property and personal law, including powers of attorney, executries and wills.