“Divorce Day” Are divorce enquiries influenced by seasonal changes?
Every year the media will roll out a story about “Divorce Day” which is said to be the first working Monday of the New Year when divorce enquiries appear to rocket as people decide to go their separate ways. Equally, every year as practitioners we report that the level of new enquiries are nowhere near what the media make out.
Now it seems that the media are also trying to promote a “September Spike”, where couples who have spent considerable time together over the 6 week school holidays now re-evaluate their relationship status once the children are back at school and the parties have returned to their normal routine. Whilst January and September are classed as being seasonally different (although in the UK it is hard to tell sometimes!) there are some similarities that may contribute towards the breakdown of a relationship:
- The end of the school holidays – if two parties are already experiencing difficulties in their relationship then the break in routine can shine a spotlight on these and make the parties evaluate whether they want to continue with a difficult relationship or bring it to an end.
- Money worries – both Christmas and the school summer holidays can be expensive times. If the relationship is already under strain and finances are already stretched, this can put added pressure onto the parties.
- “We’ll just get through …” – the majority of parties who are thinking about ending their relationship have been thinking about it for some time. However, whilst there is never a good time to separate, key events in the family calendar are times when people want to hold onto that happy family feeling for everyone involved. When that time finishes, people struggle to continue the pretence and make the first step to separate.
Regardless of whether it is “Divorce Day” or the “September Spike” the important thing to remember is that relationship breakdown is not minimised to just one day. At any point in the year there are people and families dealing with a relationship breakdown and all of the ramifications that come with it. At Barker Gotelee we can offer an initial consultation with one of our experienced solicitors in a confidential and secure setting.
Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Suffolk.