Divorce: Where Relationships End and the Legal Process Begins

“Hey Jude, don’t make it bad…take a sad song and make it better.”

So goes a song that is known and sang in just about every country in the world. Undoubtedly one of the most popular songs ever written, this Beatles hit had made an impact on every person that has heard it. Released in 1968, the song which lasted more than seven minutes had Paul McCartney on vocals. It has been a chart-topping single and a multiple platinum awardee in the music industry, selling more than eight million record copies worldwide and counting.

A Song of Hope Beyond Divorce

As the story goes, the song was inspired by the divorce of another Beatles member, John Lennon, and his wife, Cynthia. John and Cynthia had a son named Julian. After hearing of John’s affair with artist Yoko Ono, Paul visited Cynthia with hopes of providing comfort, especially to young Julian, whom everybody lovingly called ‘Jules.’ After the visit, Paul went back to his car and started writing the lyrics to the song. Instead of ‘Hey Jules,’ he must have decided to mask the truth behind the title lyrics. Thus, it was recorded as ‘Hey Jude.’ Through the song, Paul wanted to encourage Jules to press on and still find love despite the sad ending to his parents’ relationship.

Some people, including Lennon himself, claimed that the song is Paul singing to himself. In the line, “…go out and get her”, it was speculated that it is about McCartney ending the engagement with his long-time fiance to pursue another woman.

Whether the stories about this song’s provenance are true or not, what is certain is that divorces happen a lot and that many young Jules out there need comfort. At the same time, like Lennon and McCartney, many people find themselves at the end of a relationship, requiring the services of a family law expert, and afterward proceed to court to finalise a divorce. The professional advice of a legal practitioner that specialises in family and marriage may also cover other issues such as child custody, adoption, as well as pre- and post-nuptial agreements.

couple getting divorced

Legal Advice, the First Step to Recovery

Not all separations and divorces end amicably, with both parties reaching an agreement, especially on the matter of child custody. In far too many cases, the divorce proceedings are preceded by many years of emotional turmoil. One party may have been the victim of emotional and psychological abuse. In some cases, a person might have suffered a painful betrayal after the spouse has an extra-marital affair. It is also not uncommon to have financial matters become a contentious aspect of the separation and divorce proceedings.

In these difficult situations, many have found relief in having the professional counsel of an expert in family law and divorce. A lawyer can discuss in understandable terms how the proceedings will unfold, how the judge will evaluate the affidavits and testimonies, and the implications of the court’s decision not just on the marital status of both spouses, but also on the custody of their children if there are any. The lawyer will also discuss the division of properties acquired during the marriage. It is done with the intent of legally securing any assets that should be rightly rewarded to their client.

This area of practice has become a much-needed service given that 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the U.S. eventually end up in divorce. In the United Kingdom, the Beatles’ home country, there is even what is referred to as “Divorce Day.” Among lawyers in the UK, it is known as the first working Monday of the new year after the Christmas holidays. On that first Monday of January, lawyers reportedly receive the most number of inquiries about divorce.

For those who have undergone the painful but necessary process of un-coupling, the legal advice they received had helped them find hope of resolution and a chance for a new life. Before legal consultation, many have felt ‘trapped’ in an unhappy marriage. Lawyers, with their legal expertise, often try to determine first if one or both parties had already exhausted all means to resolve differences, for example, by getting marriage counseling. Once it has been established that a ‘point of no return’ has been reached, the lawyer then details the steps involved in seeking the court’s approval for a petition to divorce.

As if hearing McCartney sing the lines, “and anytime you feel the pain, Hey Jude, refrain… don’t carry the world upon your shoulder,” many have found the legal journey to end a marriage had relieved the painful burden, a heavy load that they could no longer lift.

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