January is typically the busiest month for divorce in the UK, with the first working Monday back after Christmas considered to be ‘Divorce Day’. This year, that falls on 7 January 2019.
The reason for the name is that this is when solicitors in the UK tend to experience a rise in enquiries among couples considering divorce.
In fact, the Evening Standard recently explained that a number of factors combine at this time of year to put pressure on relationships. Money worries after the festive period, as well as having the stress of trying to deliver the perfect Christmas are among the reasons couples struggle.
According to support service Amicable, the number of people who search for “divorce” online in January is 25 per cent higher than at any other time of the year. This equates to 40,500 people.
Relate also told the news provider that it receives more calls in January than at other times of the year, also citing stress after Christmas and family tensions as the main reason behind the spike.
However, the newspaper also shared figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which revealed that divorce among heterosexual couples is at a 45-year low in England and Wales. In 2017, there were 8.4 divorces per 1,000 married men and women.
That’s a 5.6 per cent decrease since 2016, and puts divorce at its lowest rate since 1972. But the newspaper also pointed out that this could be because fewer couples are choosing to get married in the first place.
By contrast, the divorce rate among homosexual couples has climbed significantly, tripling between 2016 and 2017.
But this too is not surprising, with Nicola Haines of the ONS pointing out that marriages between same sex couples have only been possible in England and Wales since 2014 and it therefore stands to reason that divorce rates will climb as more people get married.
Since April 2018, it’s been possible for couples to file for divorce online. The HM Courts & Tribunal Service received 455 divorce applications online between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.
Of those, 13 were sent on Christmas Day itself, while 77 were submitted on New Year’s Day
Speaking to the BBC, Ammanda Major, from Relate, commented: “Many people hope that the festive period will be a time of coming together, so when this doesn’t happen the sense of failure and sadness can further exacerbate problems that were there in the first place.”
Although it’s now possible to submit your application for divorce online, it’s not something that should be done lightly. If you’re considering divorce, it’s advisable to speak to divorce solicitors in Epsom to find out about all of your options.
This is especially true if you have children. Earlier in December, one tax and financial planning expert explained that people are increasingly worried about how to deal with inheritance following a divorce.
Research from Quilter, a wealth management firm, found that nearly half of people would be worried about how their wealth would be shared among their children if their spouse remarried, either following a divorce or if they passed away.