It is often reported that on the first Monday back to work after the New Year, that the telephones of family law solicitors are hot with a significant number of calls from potential clients – the so called “Divorce Day” phenomena.
The Christmas break is commonly held to blame for this increase. The reasons may be varied, perhaps disputes concerning overspending? Spending more time together leading to family rows?
However, from my experience, and that of many of my professional colleagues, the reality does not match the myth of “Divorce Day”.
I would say that any increase in the number of enquiries is usually negligible. My observation is that the real spike in the divorce queries now comes in September after the summer holidays. The time spent together by couples during summer holidays is usually longer than the time spent during Christmas. It may well be the case that couples decide to go on holiday as a last ditch attempt to rekindle a relationship, and of course if there are children involved, would not wish to deprive them of a trip away.
However if the holiday does not go well, once the children have returned to school, many couples then make the decision to take the plunge and attempt to divorce before Christmas. Christmas can be difficult for relationships already fractured or stressed and therefore it is probable that they cannot face another one with their spouse or partner?
On the other hand, if people decide to avoid a split, rather than initiate divorce proceedings early in January, new research suggests that the second Monday in January (this year the 9th) is the day that most people – already in a relationship – are likely to begin an affair.
An analysis of data from a Dating Website has shown that the second Monday of the New Year was their most popular day for new registrations. Apparently on Monday 11th January last year, they saw membership rise by 320%.
The research, which involved a survey of over 13,000 of its members revealed that 52% of those asked said that spending so much time with their partners and families over the holiday period had “created a greater desire for freedom”.
Others, stated that they wanted “something new” in their lives (26%) while 19% stated that they were looking to the New Year to “try new experiences”.
It is almost inevitable that this sort of “cheating” will result in a relationship problems once discovered by the other partner or spouse, which may lead to a badly fractured relationship which is incapable of being mended.
Ultimately however, whenever a relationship breaks down – for whatever reason and when – there is of course the issue of splitting of any assets owned between the parties, but most importantly, if there are any children involved recognising how they may be affected and taking steps to work out what is best for them in the short and longer term.
If you would like to discuss or take advice on these issues, contact a member of our Family Law team. We have offices in Boston, Lincoln, Spalding, Sleaford, Grantham and Newark.