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Sun, sea, sand...and separation? Marwa Hadi discusses

As a divorce solicitor, January is generally our busiest month and much is made in the press of there being a “January D Day”. This is attributed to, amongst other factors, tensions arising as a result of a family having spent time in close quarters over the Christmas period.What is also interesting but is not reported so widely in the press is that our new client enquiries are particularly high in September. Is there a particular reason for this?The summer holidays are traditionally a period where a family spends up to 24 hours a day together for, on average, a fortnight. This can come as a shock to the system when a family is not accustomed to spending so much time together due to the pressures of long hours at work and daily routines involving the children such as school runs.Given the current economic climate, families are booking holidays further in advance to get cheaper deals. Understandably even if your relationship had started to deteriorate, you would want to try and make things work until after your holiday so as to not lose your deposit.The children are also a factor and if they have been excited about a trip to Disneyland all year, you can see why a parent would want to stay together for the holiday period to have one last holiday together as a "happy family".Couples always have great expectations before holidays, as they do with Christmas, and couples are often disappointed if their dream holiday did not quite turn out as planned. We all put pressure on ourselves to be seen as having "a good time" during our holidays and this added pressure can intensify the resentment felt after any arguments.Finally, many couples we speak to at RJW say they were experiencing problems in their relationship anyway and decided to go on a "make or break" holiday.  It is unlikely therefore that holidays can be regarded as the cause of a couple separating, however, it is clear that it does impact upon the timing of when a couple decide to formally separate or instruct solicitors.