Surge in divorce enquiries in January highlights Christmas as a catalyst for divorce

Published: 5th January 2015

Family law firms across the country, including K J Smith Solicitors are expecting a surge in divorce enquiries throughout January - and for many firms, January can represent the busiest month of the year.

Reports suggest that divorce enquiries in January can increase by over 25% in comparison to any other month throughout the year, highlighting some truth behind the once perceived myth that the Christmas period drives many unhappy couples into getting divorced.

The Monday of the first full working week after Christmas has even been labelled as 'Divorce Day (or D-Day)' due to the influx of enquiries - making Divorce Day today (5th January 2015).

There are many possible theories as to why January is so popular for couples wanting to divorce - with most of them revolving around the festive period. For many families, Christmas is the time of year when they spend the most time together, which can bring to the surface any lingering problems that might have been in the background.

It is a case that some families just spend too much time together at Christmas, forcing distant couples to interact with each and play 'happy families' over Christmas, which for some, it's the 'final nail in the coffin' for an already strained relationship.

Stress can also play it's part in relationship breakdowns over Christmas. The time pressures as well as extra financial burden can cause more arguments between couples, resulting in tension in the family, especially if the arguments have been in front of the children.

It is also common for parents to plan their separation in advance and to stay together for the sake of their children until the festive period has come to an end. In a recent survey, 20% of married parents admitted that they put off making a decision about their relationship and stayed together over Christmas and New Year for the sake of their families before making a decision on whether to separate, whilst 27% of married parents choose to bottle up and hide their problems from their partners rather than sharing them.

In the same survey, as many as 25% of married couples have admitted that they only stay together for their children and they plan to separate once their children have grown-up. 40% of married parents revealed that they were in a marriage they weren't completely happy with, with over 30% saying that they are won't get divorced as they fear they have too much to lose.

The festive period may be a time when couples start thinking about separation, although it is unfair to place the blame solely on Christmas time. For many families, Christmas is a wonderful time which brings families closer together rather than pushing them apart - and for those thinking about divorce, there must be some serious underlying issues there to begin with.

Christmas and the New Year bring about feelings of new beginnings; for some, it's reaffirming the love for their families, for others, it can give renewed hope that there is a relationship worth fighting for. In some cases, it can cement what both parties already know - that their relationship has come to an end and that it is time to move on.

If you and your partner are thinking of separating or if your relationship has broken down beyond repair then the team at K J Smith Solicitors are here to help.

For more information or to arrange a free consultation, contact our team today at or on 01491 630000 (Henley-on-Thames), 020 7070 0330 (Central London), 0118 418 1000 (Reading), 01753 325000 (Windsor) or 01256 584000 (Basingstoke).

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