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Divorce rate increase over the festive period

Published on 31 December 2019 | Modified on 14 December 2022

Written by Stacey Bennett

The festive period is a stressful time for everyone, even more so when children are involved. Families are faced with weeks of preparation and the cost of food, gifts and other arrangements can add an additional strain on finances. Trying to manage the expectations of the day but make it as magical as possible is often harder than first thought.

If your relationship has suffered over the Christmas period, you are not alone. January is reportedly the most popular time of the year to file a divorce and is commonly known as ‘Divorce Month’. Divorce rates appear to show a seasonal pattern in that the number of divorces tends to increase after both the summer and winter breaks.

The first full week of the New Year is one of the busiest periods, particularly since applications to start a divorce can now be made online. New Year is an opportunity for reflection and a time when many people feel galvanised to take action to make changes in their personal lives.

According to government figures, 13 people applied for divorce on Christmas Day 2018 and 455 applications were lodged in England and Wales during the period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.   This trend is expected to be repeated this festive period.

In the UK there is still only one ground for divorce; the irretrievable break-down of the marriage. Unless you and your spouse have been separated for at least two years, you will need to rely upon the fact that one party has committed adultery or cite their unreasonable behaviour to prove that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

Contact one of our dedicated family law specialists to book a consultation to discuss your options. Our team can fully explain the process and help to put you at ease and plan for the year ahead. Complete our contact us form here and we will arrange to call you back at a convenient time. For more information visit our divorce and family law page.

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