"Divorce Day" today – fact or fiction?

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You may have heard on the radio, or read in the news today, that today is likely to be the busiest day for us family lawyers, with new clients instructing us to commence divorce proceedings.  Over the last near decade of practising as a family law solicitor in Hampshire, I can honestly say I have never found the first working day back after the Christmas break to involve a deluge of new client enquiries.  I think I am in step with fellow family lawyers, as Resolution, formerly known as the Solicitors' Family Law Association, has found that 82% of its lawyer members saw no spike in enquiries in the first week of January.  A "divorce day"as such, is therefore somewhat of a fiction.

What is true, though, in my experience is that this time of year generally does bring a higher number of new enquiries than other times of the year.  Just taking the family team here, by way of example, I saw a new client on Christmas Eve, my colleague Rachel Giles saw a new client last Tuesday, and my colleague Simon Burge saw a new client on New Year's Eve.  Normally, new clients come to us after periods of holidays, particularly in the New Year or after the summer holidays.  I guess this is because having time off allows you to reflect and make decisions that perhaps you otherwise were putting off, as the day to day pressures of work and other commitments allow much less time for serious reflection.

It is family mediation week next week.  As a family mediator, I hope this will help raise awareness of mediation as an option to try to resolve matters as constructively and amicably as possible, with the help of a neutral third party, the mediator.  It may be next week and the weeks thereafter that will result in an increase in the number of family mediation enquiries.  We shall have to wait and see whether the media dub any day next week "mediation day". The cynic in me suspects it will depend on how much other news is around, and, unless it is quite quiet like today, it will sadly not receive as much coverage.