Lawyers report large festive jump in divorce enquiries
THE festive season ought to be a time of harmony, but it can also mark the tipping point in the breakdown of relationships.
A team of Yorkshire-based family lawyers received almost three times the number of enquiries over Christmas and the New Year, compared with the same period last year.
In the working days that followed the festive period, enquiries to Weightmans’ family law team increased by 172 per cent. A new instruction was also received on Christmas morning, which is a first for the firm.
Weightmans received 20 enquiries this year, which is an increase on the seven recorded over the previous festive season.
The first working Monday of a new year has become known as ‘Divorce Day’, because it is usually one of the most popular days of the year for seeking legal advice, as couples who were unable to resolve their issues over the festive period decide to speak to specialist lawyers.
Louise Walker, family law specialist from Weightmans in Leeds believes that not only is this a proven trend, but we are likely to see this increase in the future.
She said: “The festive period is a key time where we are given time to reflect, and assess how happy we are. Christmas, together with other significant dates such as
New Year, birthdays, anniversaries or Valentine’s Day, can trigger a time of conflict, stress and disappointment which, for some, ultimately ends in separation or divorce.
“For the most part, couples that make the difficult decision to separate or progress with a divorce in the New Year do not take the decision lightly.
“However, the introduction of online divorce applications in 2018 has already delivered interesting figures.
“Currently only available to parties who are representing themselves, rather than using lawyers, hundreds of people applied online for a divorce over the festive period.
“The law and financial issues are more sensitive and complex than the internet leads people to believe, and operating in the absence of practical and sensible legal advice can often cause more problems than it solves.”
She added: “Some proceedings speedily issued may become cases of ‘divorce in haste, repent at leisure’.”
LOUISE WALKER:The ‘Divorce Day’ trend is expected to increase.