What is Divorce Day and can I avoid it?
For most families, Christmas is a time to spend together. Unfortunately, this can have the effect of highlighting underlying difficulties within relationships, resulting in an increase in workload for family lawyers after the Christmas break.
Usually the first working Monday of the year, in 2018 "Divorce Day" falls on Tuesday 2nd January. Traditionally, law firms have reported a surge of new enquires on and following this day. General reports suggest that spending prolonged periods of time together is unusual for most families, and in doing so over Christmas, arguments and the desire to separate follow. For some families, it appears that the decision will have been made much earlier than December, but couples choose to remain together for one more Christmas, perhaps for the sake of their children. It is heartening that couples are so willing to put their children first, despite the difficulties this may cause.
Some couples may feel that divorce is inevitable. This may not be the case however, and so before contacting a family lawyer, some couples find it helpful to attend some form of marriage counselling. Before this stage has even been reached however, there may be some steps that you might like to take to try to reduce the tension that can come from spending long periods of time with your spouse and family.
- Consider a social media "detox" over the Christmas and New Year period. Social media has become a relevant and growing aspect of family law. It is very easy to post content online, and to spend hours trawling content posted by others.
- Switch off the technology altogether. Accusations of being a "workaholic" or "addicted to your phone" may be avoided. If you can't manage to switch off, try to agree on a set time for technology to be put away, perhaps during meals, or in the evenings.
- Actually spend time together. Go for a walk together, visit friends and family together, watch Christmas television together!
- Discuss issues before they become issues. If you know that a certain family member or friend increases tension, try to discuss this first.
Whilst we hope that Christmas has been a merry time for all, if you feel that this Christmas has been the last for you as a family or couple, the best thing you can do is take legal advice as early as possible. It does not have to be on "Divorce Day", and it may be that you do not choose to do anything for a few weeks or months, but you will be able to consider your options. There is a wealth of information available on the internet, but it is not tailored to you and your circumstances specifically. A family lawyer will be able to help you weigh up the options and make the right decisions at the right time for you.
Should you have any queries about divorce or any other family law issues, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Family team at Blake Morgan.