Every year the media reports that the first working day in the New Year is “D-Day” or “Divorce Day”. This is supposedly the day when most people apparently contact a solicitor about divorce.
As that day is today I started to wonder if it is true and, if it is, why this day? Generally, January can be a busier time for family lawyers. Perhaps people feel that the New Year signifies a fresh start with New Year’s resolutions being made and it may feel like the most appropriate time to take that step, particularly with young children at Christmas.
However, to label the first working day as “D-Day” perhaps downplays the significance and difficulty that many people feel when they take the first step to formally end their relationship.
I don’t believe that there is ever really a right time to make the decision that the relationship has broken down. It has to be made when you feel certain that it is the right decision and, ideally, when you have had the opportunity to at least partly come to terms with the end of the relationship. The latter comment may surprise people but I have had many clients who have come to me straight away when they have learnt that their partner has been cheating, for example. It is completely understandable that that person wishes their marriage to be dissolved as quickly as possible and, in many cases, that can help the individual involved. But the emotional impact of the breakdown of the relationship can also affect the divorce process, particularly the financial issues which need to be resolved, making the proceedings more difficult, fraught and ultimately more costly.
With 2016 being described as one of the worst (or perhaps one of the best depending on your political views!) with Brexit, Donald Trump being elected and the number of celebrity deaths, let’s hope 2017 is prosperous whatever it may bring.