Lawyers re­port large fes­tive jump in divorce en­quiries

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS / NEWS -

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.

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