What So-Called Divorce Day Really Means
Labelling the first working Monday of the year as ‘Divorce Day’ – as the media has done – risks sounding dismissive and insensitive.
Divorce is often difficult and sad for the families concerned. Especially for the children and particularly so at Christmas.
Sadly, the phenomenon of ‘Divorce Day’ and ‘Divorce Month’ – Christmas truces collapsing in early January and disgruntled spouses phoning their lawyers – is all too true.
Our family law team has again received a flurry of calls as the annual January jinx takes its toll on marriages.
But beneath the headlines trumpeted by the media are some important undercurrents.
First is the fact that our team also received a significant number of calls in December. People preparing to divorce, making a plan but not wanting to take further action until January.
Some were being sensitive about Christmas: it would be their last together as a family.
Others were being pragmatic. They were already separated and did not want to jeopardise painstakingly negotiated arrangements regarding the children at Christmas.
A number of the people who have phoned us in January are those who have already called us once before. Often, many months ago.
Their first call had been to get advice. To learn what their options were. Now they’ve had time to think. And they are phoning again – to set events in motion.
Other factors have also come into play…
As the UK economy starts to recover, some people previously forced to stay put for financial reasons are now finding it easier to get a mortgage and move out.
Others have quite simply fallen in love. With someone other than their spouse. New partner, new dreams, new life. And that spells the inevitable demise of their existing marriage.
But big plans are seldom made on a whim. One should not infer from January’s Divorce Month headlines that troubled couples are acting in haste. Usually they are not.
Nor do they have a herd mentality. They might be heading in the same direction but every protagonist has their own unique motivation.
And that is how we deal with each case: uniquely and sympathetically.
Every marriage in difficulties has its own individual set of circumstances – not a collective series of events to be corralled under some convenient media headline.
Worried about the prospect of separation and divorce? Contact Coles Miller family law solicitor and mediator Richard Perrins for friendly, sympathetic and expert legal advice.