The first Monday following the festive break is often referred to as Divorce Day as some divorce lawyers report a surge of new enquiries. But is it…
The first Monday following the festive break is often referred to as Divorce Day or “D Day” as some divorce lawyers report that year upon year there is a surge of new enquiries following the Christmas holidays.
But is the story perpetuated in the Press right in suggesting that the families who fall out over Christmas dinner, and the in-laws coming to visit, flood into their divorce lawyer’s office less than 2 weeks later, on the first working Monday of the New Year, to start a process which can, in some cases, be emotionally draining, painful, and uncertain....?
No - of course not. Taking that step to see a divorce lawyer is not an easy thing to do. Many people take weeks, months, sometimes years, to decide when is the right time to seek advice and start the ball rolling to ‘uncouple’ and resolve financial and child arrangements. Most families choose not to take drastic action and deal with matters carefully and pragmatically. Most couples need time to reflect and assess whether a permanent separation is the only solution. Many will attempt counselling and mediation to address their issues first.
However, traditionally January and February are always busy times for family lawyers. Christmas, together with the New Year, birthdays, anniversaries, Valentines Day and holidays, are key times when we all, consciously or not, assess how happy or sad, excited or let down, special or unloved, we feel. High days and holidays can trigger a realisation that a relationship is floundering, or indeed over. They can represent a time of conflict, stress and disappointment which, for some, ultimately ends in separation or divorce.
Some see the New Year as a time for a fresh start. Some separated couples start moving ahead with the process in January, even though the decision to separate was taken some months before.
Most families do all that they can to separate in a principled and constructive way. There can be a 'good divorce' and recent social media trends, particularly in the States (#divorceselfies) show us countless couples who feel that they have achieved this.
Family lawyers are tirelessly campaigning to reduce conflict in divorce, and continue to press for legislative change to enable divorce to proceed without attributing blame (#abetterway). We support that campaign and hope that 2017 makes positive steps in that direction, in line with what families demand.