24 January 2018
Divorce day: fact or fiction?
January is often thought of as the month of fresh beginnings and new resolutions. Much is made by the media of new starts and how to become “the new you”.
One theme which has developed over the last couple of years is the notion that the first Monday in January is known as “divorce day” because, they say, this is the day most new calls are made to the divorce lawyers. More recently, the second Monday in January has become known as “blue Monday” because, they say, that this is when the gloominess takes hold following the festive period, winter is well and truly underway and people are eagerly awaiting pay day having overspent during the holidays.
However, whilst there may be lots of new calls to family lawyers during January, is it fair to say that the first day in January is D-Day or that 1 in 5 couples call the lawyers that day or is this all a myth?
Statistics issued by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) show that there is in fact a steady trend of family cases issued in the family courts throughout the year and that no one quarter shows a significant increase in cases. The statistics issued by the MOJ show that there were 65,714 new family cases issued between January and March 2017, 63,381 new cases were issued between April and June 2017 and 65,247 new cases were issued between July 2017 and September 2017.
So therefore whilst January may see a slight increase in calls to lawyers, this may be because the decision to separate has been delayed until the festive period is over, often for the sake of the children of the family. This is also common for other holiday periods including the school summer holidays when there is also a peak in new client calls in September.
However, whatever the time of year and whenever any important life decision is made, careful consideration must always be given to the options available to you and professional advice should be sought. There are often lots of issues to consider, the first and foremost usually being whether separation is inevitable or whether both parties are keen to explore ways to repair their relationship. If a reconciliation is possible, then your lawyer would be happy to provide you with details of professional services who may be able to assist.
If a separation or divorce is inevitable, then there are other things to think about: who is going to remain in the family home? Should both parties stay or should one move out? What about the children and where will they live and spend their time? How will assets be divided? Is moving abroad an option? Will the courts be involved?
These are all very important questions that most family lawyers hear on a daily basis.
Your lawyer should take time to listen to you, understand your position and what it is that you wish to achieve and provide you with pragmatic and strategic advice from the outset. There are many options available to you and court is often now seen as the very last resort.
As B P Collins’ family lawyers are members of Resolution, which is an organisation committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes in a non-confrontational way, this is the approach we take.
We have also been awarded the highest ranking by independent legal directory Chambers UK, with a client noting:
“They are empathetic with clients but have a strong approach to dealing with the opposition. They don't do so in a forceful way but in a well thought-through and intelligent way to ensure we don't miss any angles and we give ourselves the best chances in negotiations."