As another new year rolls round again, many of us are looking to make life changes, often following the festive indulgences.
Diets and detox top this list but it might surprise you that divorce applications are up there too.
January signifies a new year and a fresh start, and this year Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his novelist wife MacKenzie Bezos join the numbers announcing their divorce earlier this month.
For many years, solicitors in the UK have noted a spike in divorce and separation enquiries on the first working Monday in January each year, so much so the day has long been dubbed ‘Divorce Day’.
And this year, the Law Gazette has reported on the hundreds of people who completed online divorce applications via the government’s fledgling online divorce system over the Christmas and New Year period, including 13 people who submitted applications on Christmas Day itself.
It might make for a sad and uncomfortable read but the reality is the Christmas holiday and all its trimmings can create enormous tension and agitation in families.
Festive stress & pressure
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 42% of marriages now end in divorce, with ‘unreasonable behaviour’ the most commonly reason cited reason.
The intense period of time spent together during the holiday, combined with the stress and pressure of expectation, can often serve to highlight longstanding problems within a relationship and may, in part, contribute to the ‘divorce day’ phenomenon.
In other instances, couples may choose to stay together for children and family for one last Christmas before announcing their decision to divorce immediately afterwards.
Options & Advice
Regardless of the rationale, seeking specialist legal advice at the earliest possible stage, ideally before separation, is the most sensible course of action.
It’s important to understand your specific position and the range of options that may be both available and/or suitable to you and your partner (including mediation, fixed fee divorce and DIY divorce).
A Family Law lawyer will also provide advice on family finances and negotiating a financial settlement, which is particularly important if you are financially the weaker party.
A helping hand
Although such a ‘new year’s resolution’ might feel set in stone, it’s not uncommon for feelings surrounding divorce or separation to change or shift, moving back and forth over time, particularly when children are involved.
At SH&CO, we know that making the decision to divorce can be incredibly difficult and painful, and that only you can do it.
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.