The Reality of Divorce Day
definition of divorce

The Reality of Divorce Day

Each year, the media join in their masses to report on a so called “Divorce Day” which, thankfully, is not an officially recognised day of any kind. It is simply a term used to refer to the first working Monday of a new year – which has been linked to an increase in people showing an interest in divorce.  It is true, that for many legal firms, this day can mean more divorce enquiries, or simply more visits to the relevant sections on their website. Likewise several family or relationship charities have also reported an increase of activity around this time. But what are the reasons for this trend? And why do we have a “Divorce Day” at all?

In all honesty, “Divorce Day” is nothing more than a media made fabrication which seems to create a fantasised approach to what can be a very emotional and difficult time for many families. Truth be told, it can take months, if not years to come to the final decision to separate from your partner, as opposed to treating it like a New Years resolution that the media portrays it to be.

Realistically, the increase in enquiries has a lot to do with most law firms closing for the Christmas period and nothing at all to do with this so called “Divorce Day”. What we often see is people thinking about divorce before the holidays, only to delay taking action until after the Christmas and New Year period. This could be for several reasons:

Parents often want to protect the feelings of their children, family or even the other partner over a time that is meant for joy and positivity. Others may even have second thoughts during this period, as Christmas tends to bring people together. Sadly, however, reality can often hit again once January rolls around and the dark winter days continue and normal routines resume.

There is little data on the exact reasons, and of course everyone has their own individual experiences and circumstances, although we can surmise that a combination of the above may well contribute in some way. Other factors can include:

Holiday Tensions

The Christmas and New Year period can also be incredibly stressful for married couples. Spending an extended period of time in close proximity with anyone, even your partner, can lead to tension. If you add extended family to the mix, those stresses can be even worse. As we are aware 2020 saw people spending more time at home alone than ever, especially over Christmas, so these situations more than likely arose once more.


Financial troubles are often a big cause of friction in a relationship. Each January, many people have an extended gap between December and January pay, leaving them with less in the New Year. Christmas also comes with massive expenses in terms of gifts, food & drink, and more. All of those factors are likely to contribute in a normal year, plus the added stress from a global pandemic which has left many with concerns about job security or reduced wages.

The Coronavirus Pandemic

Perhaps more significant to the increase in divorce or relationship breakdown enquiries is the unique situation imposed by the covid-19 pandemic, which has seen many families go through multiple lockdown and self isolation periods. Many have suffered additional pressures since March 2020, having spent more time together in isolation, as well as the added financial strain arising from the forced closures of businesses, the furlough scheme and redundancies nation wide. This has led to statistics for divorce enquiries being slightly different than in previous years.

It is true that January is a time of reflection and many people begin to address the fact that their marriage may no longer be working. But remember, nobody enters a marriage or relationship thinking about divorce or separation, so before making any final decisions, it might be worth making these considerations:

  • Commitment from both sides is needed to make a marriage work
  • Communicate with each other to express your feelings and grievances
  • Let go of previous issues where you can
  • Be accountable for you own actions
  • Consider professional help such as counselling

If however your relationship has irretrievably broken down, it is important that you seek legal advice to ensure that you receive the support and guidance through what is, for many people, a very difficult and traumatic time. Our Family Law team are vastly experienced in handling these cases sensitively and are on hand to guide you through every step of the way. Speak to a member of our team today on 01782 983943 or complete an online enquiry form here