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Christmas: a tale of carols, tinsel, turkey...and divorce?

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The Festive Pressure Cooker

There’s no ‘bah humbug’ about it – it’s a well-known fact that, historically, the Christmas holiday and all its trimmings can create astronomical tension and unease in families.

The continuous build-up of previous marital problems, combined with yuletide strain, can create a festive family pressure cooker. The extreme end result of this has been dubbed ‘divorce day’ – the Monday of the first full week in January, when the most divorce petitions of the year are filed.


The Real Reasons

Although the factors that contribute to this ‘new year’s resolution’ of sorts frequently include the stress of playing happy families and/or office party flings, both of which are often fuelled by excessive alcohol consumption, they are often merely the trigger point.

In most cases, the marriage has been suffering from longer-term problems and issues, and, at the point of filing for divorce, 1 of only 5 reasons can be cited within the UK:

  1. Adultery
  2. Unreasonable Behaviour
  3. Desertion
  4. You’ve lived apart for more than 2 years (where both parties agree to divorce)
  5. You’ve lived apart for more than 5 years (where only 1 party may wish to divorce)

According to the ONS, 1 in 7 divorces are granted on the grounds of adultery and less than 1% are granted because of desertion.

However, regardless of the reasons cited, it is widely recognised that divorce can be a messy, complicated and drawn-out process which is often both emotionally and financially exhausting. Not to mention the further considerable complications when children are involved.


New Year, New Options?

So, things aren’t right. They may be bad. They may be awful. But you may not be quite ready to give the green light on a divorce?

Well, you do have options …

Marriages and relationships can break down for all manner of reasons. In many instances, joint counselling can be an excellent idea for couples who are experiencing problems and struggling to communicate. Organisations such as Relate can offer a calm, civilised and impartial environment in which both parties can discuss and explore the issues and their feelings about the marriage.

Seeking legal advice, at the earliest possible stage before separation, is the most sensible course of action. A specialist family lawyer can advise on your position and options, and give information about family finances and negotiating the financial settlement. This is especially important if you are financially the weaker party.


No Alternative

On the other hand, you may have already tried counselling, given your marriage another shot or perhaps the relationship is now no longer healthy.

Whatever the reason, if you feel that divorce is your only option or that quite simply, your mind is made up, now may well be the time to consult a specialist family lawyer to discuss your options and better understand your position.


Know your position

Christmas or not, in many cases, the thought of divorce can be both heart breaking and confusing, particularly where children are concerned. It’s also very common for your thoughts and feelings about your marriage and the possibility of divorce, to shift and change over time, back and forth.

At Susan Howarth & Co., we know that making the decision to divorce can be incredibly difficult and painful, and that only you can do it.

And whether you’ve made that decision for sure or not, we are here to help you understand the process, discuss your options and clarify your position.   


If you’d like more information or just to have a chat, call us on 01606 48777 to book yourself a FREE 30 minute appointment with one of our family lawyers or pop in to one of our FREE drop-in Family Law clinics.