Is getting a divorce your New Year’s resolution?

My own decision to divorce came about on a sunny June evening. I had a moment best described as an epiphany, during which I realised that my then spouse was never going to be able to make the internal adjustments necessary, as I saw it, to keep us together. Similarly, I couldn’t see how to make the compromise he was asking of me. He did not want what I did, plain and simple. There was something odd about reaching such a gloomy decision on such a glorious warm and hazy evening, but there it was, undeniable and waiting to be faced up to. Our Decree Absolute came through the following October.

It seems the timing of my own crunch moment was very much out of sync with the ebb and flow of divorce for the majority of the UK population. January is seen as a peak month for those parts of the legal profession who handle divorce, with a 30% spike in applications from separating couples during the first month of the year. And according to this piece in the Daily Mail, the couple counselling organisation Relate also observes a significant rise in the numbers of couple seeking their help at this time of year .

It probably isn’t that hard to see why this is the case. We cram ourselves together over the festive season, jacking up our credit cards, filling our minds with high hopes and expectations, and throwing in a dash of claustrophobia, by inviting the in-laws to stay, just for good measure. Financial strains and concentrated time together result in those couples already struggling reaching breaking point. Add to this the notion that many of us are assessing our lives in time to make resolutions on January 1st, and it would seem that, as this piece in The Guardian put it, divorce lawyers really are the ‘January winners’.

Here at Prince Family Law we have no desire to be flippant about this phenomenon. We may cast a wry eye over the media reports covering the challenges that the Christmas period brings to already hard-pressed families. But, we know that behind these headlines, are unhappy individuals for whom the irony of all those cosy family adverts in between their favourite Christmas TV shows, are a painful reminder of what they seem to no longer have. It is perhaps better to focus on the more constructive advice on offer to those who feel that the breakdown in their relationship cannot be remedied.

So, alongside their review of the gloomy statistics, the Daily Mail piece also busts some of the myths around divorce law, and offers couples advice on how to get through amicably when they truly conclude that there is no going back. The Guardian article also includes some very sensible advice on how to support your children through the divorcing process. (We can offer you further support in this particularly difficult area with our list of the best books for helping children through a split.)

And finally, this report in The Times on the potential rise in the cost of divorce proceedings early in 2014 also makes for sombre reading. With the loss of legal aid in most cases already a reality, it really isn’t an easy decision for any couple to make.

So if you have had a tough Christmas and are thinking of making the call, you will find that here at Prince Family Law we pride ourselves in being able to sensitively and efficiently guide you through the process. Our experienced team can work with you to ensure that the conclusion reached is the best for all parties.