Research challenges “Divorce Day” claims

The family law association, Resolution, has warned that widespread media coverage of the so-called “Divorce Day” risks, is trivialising marital break-ups.

The term is widely used to refer to the first Monday after most people return to work following the Christmas break.

It has long been thought that the day sees a spike in enquiries to family lawyers, from couples who are looking to separate, reputedly because of rows during the festive period or a renewed desire for a fresh start.

But while Resolution has confirmed that more people are likely to seek out information on the internet at the start of a new year, a survey of its members, which includes Palmers, suggests that the rise in calls to solicitors may in fact be overstated.

Resolution’s chair, Jo Edwards, said: “We do know that January is the time when online searches for information about divorce and separation reach their peak.

“The festive season can be difficult for many families, fraught as it is with expectations and obligations; and indeed many have already decided before Christmas that they wish to take steps to separate, but hold off doing so until the New Year for the sake of the family. “But to dub [it] ‘Divorce Day’ trivialises the very painful and difficult decisions couples make when they separate. In fact, 82 per cent of Resolution members polled reported that they did not see any immediate spike in new cases or enquiries at the beginning of 2015.”

Resolution said this suggests that most people are initially looking for information, rather than taking the immediate decision to file for divorce.

Surjit Verdi, a solicitor in Palmers’ Family Law team, said: “At Palmers our experience reflects that of other Resolution members. Post-Christmas, we find that most people are initially looking for information and are weighing up their options, rather than taking the immediate decision to file for divorce. Just as the old proverb states: ‘marry in haste, repent at leisure’, the same rules should apply to divorce. Rather than making a spur of the moment decision, following a stressful holiday period with your spouse, you need time to reflect and carefully weigh up all your available options.

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