January is the time of year when starting divorce proceedings is most common. Couples spending an extended amount of time together over the festive period is often cited as the reason, but it is rarely as straightforward as this, with other factors involved.
Gianna Lisiecki-Cunane looks at some drivers behind the spike in divorce enquiries in January.
The stresses and strains of Christmas
The lead-up to Christmas is often the busiest time of year for many people, which can increase stress levels. Taking the stress out on a partner is often an unfortunate consequence, and relations can turn sour. Throw into the mix the added complication of solo events, such as work Christmas parties, and arguments may quickly arise.
Spending time with others
Although spending prolonged amounts of time together is common over Christmas, so too is spending time with friends and extended families. Where tensions exist, especially with in-laws, the festive period can be particularly difficult to navigate and confrontations can occur – especially where alcohol is involved.
Meeting up with other couples can equally be difficult – arguments can arise over things that are said – and it is difficult not to compare the state of your own relationship to that of others.
Increased financial stress
Christmas is undoubtedly an expensive time of year and if there are problems in a relationship, spending may be used to try to compensate. When the credit card bills hit in January, this can bring an extra level of stress and can ultimately lead to fractures if a relationship is already under strain.
A fresh start in the New Year
There is never an ideal time of the year to separate from a partner but to save upsetting family, especially children, couples will often decide to approach Christmas with a ‘brave face’ and stay together, at least for appearances sake. Therefore, once the festive period is over and it’s back to normality, the couple may decide that in January, the time is right to start the process of separating.
In any event, even if this hadn’t been agreed before Christmas, the start of a New Year is often a time for reflection and making decisions about the rest of the year. An individual who has been unhappy for some time may use the dawn of a New Year to make a decision about their relationship – and this may be that it is best to separate / divorce.
If you feel uncertain about your relationship’s future following Christmas, you are not alone. Discussing your options at an early stage with a family lawyer can help to provide clarity on the steps you may take going forward. For an initial chat in confidence with a divorce solicitor at O’Donnell Solicitors, please contact us on 01457 761670 or email Gianna at firstname.lastname@example.org