The first Monday in January, after the conclusion of the festive season, has been unofficially dubbed as ‘Divorce Day’. This is due to the increased number of divorce enquiries received by family lawyers as many couples seek advice about ending their marriage. 

But why is this the case? What are the reasons behind the increase, and just how big of a part does Christmas play? Let’s take a look.

What has Christmas got to do with it?

There are any number of things that can bring matters to a head during the Christmas festivities. Concerns about spending and financial stress, too much alcohol, not to mention the inescapable overwhelm that can come with trying to plan for the ‘picture perfect’ Christmas that everyone can enjoy. 

In our experience however, the most wonderful time of the year can serve as a time when all the worries and doubts that have been building within a marriage come to the surface. Christmas is very rarely the catalyst for divorce, and is instead a stark realisation that the relationship is over. 

Strong relationships are built on strong foundations 

When it comes to both the big and the small stuff within a marriage, it’s all about teamwork.‌ Couples who can jointly navigate challenges (not just at Christmastime but all year round) aren’t usually the people contacting a divorce lawyer when January comes around. 

‌Those seeking legal advice regarding divorce come the New Year tend to be the ones for whom the prospect of separation is more of a when than if. 

How do I know if I’m ready for divorce?

The decision to divorce is rarely an easy one. There’s very often lots of back and forth, indecision, and a number of thoughts and worries about doing the right thing. 

However, there are certain things that might indicate that you’re ready for a fresh start. A loss of respect and empathy for your partner for example, loss of attraction, a lack of intimacy and a general detachment from marital and family life – all of these are, at the very least, things that may help you make a decision about what you want your future to look like. 

Is there ever a right time to divorce? 

For some couples, there’s a real focus on timing. They want to get through one last Christmas for the sake of the kids, they don’t want to ruin summer holidays, they feel it’s best once the children are fully settled at school – there are so many reasons throughout the year to push the decision down the road. 

There’s always going to be something. It will always be someone’s birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion. There’ll always be something that you don’t want to overshadow or ruin with the announcement that you want a divorce. At the end of the day, the only right time for a divorce is when it feels right for you. 

In next week’s blog, we’ll be covering some of the more obvious signs that might mean that you’re ready for a divorce, and you’ll find the details here on our website and across our social channels.

In the meantime, if you’ve entered the New Year with questions about your divorce or separation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our expert team who will be ready to support you every step of the way.