Divorce Day

January is traditionally the busiest time of year for a divorce lawyer. “Divorce Day”, as it is known, is usually the first Monday back to work after the festive break.

Why do so many people start divorce proceedings after Christmas?

It can be because the enforced period of time at home with the family has revealed fault lines that have been developing for a while, and the Christmas holidays bring matters to crisis point – it won’t surprise many to learn that another very busy period for divorce lawyers is after the summer break.  However, we see many clients, particularly those with children, who have started to consider divorce much earlier in the year, but made a point of staying with their other half until the holidays are over, so that their children can enjoy a final Christmas as a family.  Often these are the individuals who want to settle matters as quickly as possible, as they have already made their emotional exit from the relationship.

New Year, New Me

And then there are those who decide to have a January divorce simply because they have planned things this way: the “New Year, New Me” approach. Many people make a New Year’s resolution to have a happier life, and leaving their relationship is the first step on that journey. Usually this is something that they have been thinking about for a while, but it has taken them some time to make what is often a very difficult decision.

Here at McAlister Family Law it’s also not unusual over the Christmas holidays for the team to receive calls and emails from clients already in the middle of divorce proceedings.  Usually this is due to arguments over child contact, perhaps one parent refusing to hand over the children for a share of the festivities, or failing to turn up as promised on Christmas Day.

I know what I want: can I get a “quickie” divorce?

No matter what you may read in the press, there is no “quickie” divorce: this usually refers to a divorce which can proceed immediately without a period of waiting for the petition to be issued.

When applying for a divorce in England and Wales, the process, in the vast majority of undefended cases, is a process called Special Procedure – this means a judge will consider the divorce petition on paper and neither you nor your husband/wife will need to attend Court to explain why your marriage has broken down. This process can take as little as four to six months.

The practicalities of divorce

As we start to deal with the surge in divorce enquiries in January from unhappy husbands and wives, many of the questions we are asked concern not emotions, but practicalities: what the financial implications are, where will they live, what will be the child care arrangements and more.  This is why should you consult a family law solicitor who can help you with expert advice on your divorce, ensuring that you achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Making the decision to end a marriage may be one of the most difficult decisions that you will ever make. Equally, being on the receiving end of a divorce petition can be daunting, upsetting and confusing. Whether you are looking for an amicable divorce, a quick divorce or a fixed fee divorce, we are here to help.


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