I can say without any doubt that throughout my many years of practise, the New Year has traditionally been the time when the number of enquiries about divorce peaks. In the short days and weeks after Christmas, I see the enquiries coming in through the website, and the first week back to work in January always sees a flood of new appointments.
I believe this happens for two main reasons:
Firstly, Christmas can often be the final straw. It is an emotional time, and it can heighten tensions and place greater strain on relationships which are already struggling. Very often, couples see the season as a desperate kind of last chance for their relationship - "Let's see how Christmas goes before I decide anything", or "Maybe things will get better over the holidays" - being the kind of thoughts and hopes common at this time. Christmas, unfortunately, is also a peak time for alcohol consumption, which causes havoc in some families, and which in turn can give rise to incidents of domestic violence or verbal abuse, increasing the move towards separation.
Secondly, the New Year is a time for new beginnings, and this affects what is in my experience, the majority of separating couples. Most of my clients who decide to separate or divorce, do so after months or years of consideration. They often spend long periods in counselling, either as a couple or individually for themselves. All the issues are weighed carefully before they choose to seek legal advice. Therefore January, for most, is the month of final resolution and taking that first step towards a different future.
Despite the fact that separation and divorce can be long and painful processes, the positive side is that it does offer that different future. And there is help out there to support you through the process. There is a range of family and relationship organisations out there and in terms of dealing with the legal aspects of the process, you can get legal advice from those experienced in the separation and divorce field. Don’t forget, a good family law solicitor will help you to keep your divorce or separation out of court but help to give you the maximum level of control of the process.
For further information or advice, call 0402 24370 or email: info@dmburke.ie
Family Law & Civil Litigation Expert