Family Lawyer and Mediator Sarah Jackson shares her thoughts on ‘Divorce Day’ and whether it’s a myth.
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Every January, the papers talk about Divorce Day, being the first working day in January when divorce lawyers purportedly see a new client spike. The theory is that the strain of Christmas on families results in couples wanting divorce advice as soon as the holiday ends. But, from my 23 years as a specialist family lawyer, this is not the full story.
Many couples indeed find it difficult to endure Christmas; they face a tough time given the focus at this time of year on the family and the bombardment of media images of others having a blissfully happy time. Financial problems can compound this, the stress of festive chores and round-the-clock child care and spending concentrated time together, which can bring to light any underlying issues.
However, a client’s decision to contact us will usually be a culmination of months of work and careful assessment rather than a specific reaction to the Christmas chaos.
Importance of holistic legal advice
It can be bewildering for those experiencing separation and divorce for the first time. The emotional support of family and friends can be invaluable, but be wary of taking advice from those who have been through divorce or separation as every family circumstance is different, and generalisations can be very unhelpful.
Instead, you should ensure that you get some formal legal advice at an early stage. Choose a specialist family solicitor who is a member of Resolution and thus committed to assisting clients in resolving disputes in a non-confrontational manner and who can point you in the direction of other professionals such as counsellors and therapists if appropriate.
It is important to realise that seeing a solicitor does not set you on an unalterable course to divorce. Here at BLB, we see people at all stages of their relationships and are happy to spend time with you explaining your options and who might be best placed to help you achieve your goals.
Whatever your circumstances, we will do our best to support you and advise you in the most practical and cost-effective way.