(Not) Divorce Day

Divorce Day. Said to be the first working Monday in January each year.  It’s a total myth.

The very notion that people pick the first working day of January to either commence divorce proceedings or instruct a lawyer is nonsense.  

To my mind, it is offensive to anyone finding themselves in a position where they are considering ending their relationship considering the huge emotional and practical considerations they go through to get to that point.   This isn’t done on a whim, or as a result of cross words over Christmas presents.  Yes, there are often are additional pressures on a relationship over the festive season, but not more than at other times of the year if you consider the added worry of inflation, cost of living or health issues (to name but a few).  The decision to formally end a relationship is taken over considerable time, it’s agonised over.  Every person’s story different, their journey is different. The last straw might be a bad Christmas, but it generally isn’t the catalyst.

Is any more to be said? 

In reality, we can all only speak from our own experience.  Whilst we do see surges of work at specific times of year, I have rarely a seen a significant spike on the first week of January with demands of issuing petitions immediately.  Indeed, I am no more busy this week than I would usually expect to be, which is pretty busy!

When I think about the patterns of enquiries over the years,  we tend to see a rise of enquiries towards late January into February, once the holiday period is well and truly over and kids have got back into the routine of school.  Furthermore, those enquiries aren’t necessarily new. They are often individuals I have seen several months before for initial advice, who now are now in a place emotionally and practically to proceed.  There may have been a conscious agreement with their spouse to wait until the Christmas period was over before taking any steps.  Yes – separating couples can and do talk about these things and try and agree a plan!   I also receive new enquiries, people seeking advice on their situation and options, but they won’t necessarily commence any process immediately.  It could be many months later before they decide to move forward. 

The focus should not be on glorifying days of the year or lawyers capitalising on myths. As family lawyers, we have a responsibility to ensure people do not feel pressured and have the space and access to the right information to make a decision in a dignified, child-focussed way, regardless of when they may choose to do so or what the motivation is. There is no pressure to take steps immediately,  unless of course circumstances require urgent action which is always fact and case specific.

When we see our clients for the first time, we want them to feel comfortable and at ease talking to us.  When they are ready, we are ready to offer focussed advice on their situation, which will inevitably evolve, and provide clear options to resolve their situation and signpost them to other services to assist as part of a wider support team, if required. 


If you would like to speak to our team about your circumstances, please fill in your details and we will get back to you.