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“Divorce Day” Follows the Festive Break

“Divorce Day” Follows the Festive Break

The first working day after the festive break has been dubbed “Divorce Day”, with an ever-increasing number of spouses each year choosing it as the day to seek advice as to how to end their marriages.

Christmas can be the catalyst for taking action

January traditionally sees a spike in divorce enquiries to lawyers, with recent research revealing that law firms can receive in excess of 25% more instructions relating to divorce during the month of January, than in an average month. However, “Divorce Day” is the day on which the highest number of enquiries are recorded.

It is considered that Christmas constitutes a catalyst for many couples to take action for a multitude of reasons: prolonged periods in the family home, an excess of food and alcohol, and disappointed expectations can prove testing on relationships.

It is also reported that more affairs are discovered over the festive period, with an increased amount of contact time between spouses and the discovery of texts received from third parties. Another widely cited reason for the spike in separation enquiries is the advent of a new year, with unhappy spouses looking for a fresh start or to fulfill their resolutions.

Six in ten married people admit to relationship problems

Research from relationship support charity, OnePlusOne, has revealed that six in ten married people admit to having serious problems in their relationships, with a quarter of them saying they have never sought any external help. Of those who reported problems but did seek help, 23% turned to friends, 16% looked to family members for support and a further 7% sought information and advice online as to when to end their marriage.

Director of OnePlusOne, Penny Mansfield CBE, acknowledges that Christmas can be a testing time for couples but contests that instigating divorce action is most often not spontaneous or rash, but more likely the result of months of deliberation:

“People rarely decide to separate or divorce suddenly – often they’ve been thinking about it for months, if not years. Seeking help at an earlier stage – when the first thoughts about separation creep in – can be the first step in resolving problems and make the likelihood of splitting up less likely.

But for many people, the additional stress of Christmas and the start of the New Year bring these underlying problems to the surface, and they make their final decision to part.”

A separate study has echoed her sentiments. While the festive season may prompt thoughts of divorce, many couples report consciously deferring the issue until the New Year. A survey of 2,000 married adults found that one in five couples contemplate divorce in the months leading to December, but decide to stay together over the Christmas period, resolving to end their marriage in January. Other respondents said they delayed starting divorce proceedings to give them more time to consider their actions, while 18% of those surveyed said they had a date in mind on which they would like to end their relationship.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of family law, are considering divorce proceedings or a trial separation, or want to draw up a pre or post-nuptial agreement, call our mediation, divorce and family dispute resolution solicitors in absolute confidence on 01494 790058 or 01494 790047. Alternatively, email us at familylaw@ibblaw.co.uk.

We can provide initial short family law consultations at a reduced fixed fee, where our expert advisors will be able to give you initial guidance on ways to resolve family disputes, either through mediation or individual representation. We will always provide you with cost estimates at the start and throughout your case.