While the festive period is meant to be a time of cheer and joy, for many couples it spells the end of their relationship with Divorce Lawyers seeing a surge in divorce enquiries.
The first day legal offices open after the Christmas break has been dubbed ‘Divorce Day’ as the holiday season pushes relationships beyond breaking point.
UK law firm Slater and Gordon expect divorces to spike, with many people having already made appointments with a Divorce Lawyer for the first week of 2015 and many more expected on Monday.
Andrew Newbury, head of Family Law at Slater and Gordon said, “These next few days tend to be the busiest time of year, hence the first Monday back after the festive break has become known as ‘Divorce Day’.
“We normally experience a doubling of divorce inquiries in the first few days of the New Year, but some years we’ve seen a three fold increase. It’s most acute in the first couple of days but remains particularly high throughout January.
“Any problems a relationship has been facing is likely to come to a head over the Christmas holiday as couples tend to spend more time together and cabin fever can set in. There’s also lot of pressure on families over the festive season to ensure that the day is perfect so when reality falls short of expectations it can be very difficult.
“We are often contacted by people as the New Year approaches who decide that the tension and the arguing has just gone on for too long. The New Year is a natural time for people to assess their lives and relationships can come under more scrutiny. Especially if one has been putting in a lot more effort that the other to fix the problems in the relationship.”
The ‘Divorce Day’ trend of deciding to split up with a partner after a difficult Christmas break has become increasingly significant over the last few years and the law firm will have more Divorce Lawyers than usual ready to take calls from people exploring the option to get divorced.
Research by Slater and Gordon shows that almost 40% of married couples had marital problems in 2014 with almost one in ten saying they had severe problems.
The study, which polled 1,230 married Brits in the build up to Christmas, was commissioned by Slater and Gordon to look at the causes behind the surge in divorce enquiries.
A quarter of Brits said this festive break could be ‘make or break’ for their marriage as they try to settle disagreements and put marital problems behind them, according to the survey.
One in ten went as far to say that they were treating the festive period as make or break time for their marriage.
Expensive gifts, family days out, one on one time without the kids and cosy nights in with a bottle of wine are all ways in which couples tried to reignite the flame.
However, one in twenty of couples who hoped that a happy Christmas would create a happy marriage admitted that their relationship may have reached the point of no return already.
Three quarters of Brits said they would make an extra effort not to argue with their partner over Christmas.
More than half of couples said they anticipated that arguments from earlier in the year would create tension and get repeated over Christmas, while 36% said they thought financial stresses, the pressure to make it perfect and ‘cabin fever’ would be reasons behind the arguments.
The research also showed that being forced to spend time in the company of family members they don’t get along with, arguments over what to watch on TV and who does the cooking are the most common causes of arguments.
Nearly half said their children regularly witness fights between them and their partner while 22% said they had argued in front of their parents and in-laws. A quarter said they had discussed ending their relationship and almost a third said they were dreading Christmas.
14% of respondents said they were planning on taking on extra work and going in to the office just to get away from their family over the break while one in twenty said they would drink to make the festive season more bearable.
Andrew Newbury of Slater and Gordon added, “Contacting a Divorce Lawyer can often be the first step towards broaching difficult discussions and taking difficult decisions. It’s sensible to get expert legal advice as early as possible so that couples are in the best possible position to make any separation as amicable as they can. Especially if there are children involved.
“If the Christmas period has been filled with arguments and tension then it’s important to put children first before making any rash decisions and to also make the effort to make the process as amicable as possible.”
For an initial consultation with a Divorce Lawyer call Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.
Slater and Gordon are a leading family law firm with 1,450 staff and offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Derby, Merseyside, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield & meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire & in Hull, Yorkshire.