The Divorce week myth

By Lenore Rice

The first working week of January has come to be reported  as ‘Divorce week’ in the media because family law solicitors often report a large increase in the number of enquiries about divorce or family law matters such as child access.

Media articles appear each year, with most trying to explain the increase as a result of the Christmas break when we spend more time with our partners, our in-laws, and endure additional financial stress. However, most articles tend to miss the main reason why there are more enquiries about divorce at the start of a new year.

Yes, there are increases in queries to solicitors about divorce but these are not knee-jerk reactions to having a bad Christmas. Anyone who enquires about divorce has usually been thinking about it for many months, if not longer, so an enquiry made in January will probably have been first considered much earlier in the previous year. Christmas in fact postpones a lot of divorces, rather than causing them. Many people, especially parents, who are considering divorce around late summer time, will agree to leave it until after Christmas as it is such a family orientated time. As such, there tends to be a drop in the number of people instigating divorce proceedings in the latter part of the year, and it is only when the Christmas period ends that those people who have been waiting start to get the ball rolling.

Many couples will already have agreed between themselves how they intend to separate – who will be the resident parent, the child contact arrangements for the non-resident parent, how the assets are to be divided, and other matters. Others will require more advice and guidance in these areas, or have perhaps failed to reach an agreement.

For anyone considering a separation it is important to know that it is often possible to make the split amicable, and to achieve a great deal through discussion and mediation in the first instance. A family law solicitor will have to be involved at some point, but ideally you will discuss as many of the issues around the children and finance in advance.

For information or advice in respect of a separation or divorce contact one of our family law solicitors today by clicking here.