Personal Law

Christmas Divorce

December 20, 2019

As divorce solicitors it came as no surprise to us when we read that last Christmas Day 13 people made online divorce applications. It came as even less of a surprise to see that between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day 455 applications were lodged in England and Wales.  

January is always a busy month for family legal teams with twice as many couples beginning divorce or separation proceedings than at any other time of year. This is due to the undeniable fact that Christmas places a lot of pressure on families. Whether it’s the strain of enforced family gatherings, financial pressures, or the realisation that after a number of days in each other’s company it really isn’t working, there are some ways to ensure that if you do decide that your Christmas together is your last, you can make it amicable.

Don’t overdo the drinking

Alcohol can loosen tongues and many divorce petitions include behaviour exacerbated by drinking. If you’re already in a strained relationship, drinking a few too many may lead you to say something you regret. Similarly, drinking excessively can cause arguments and misunderstandings that can tarnish the atmosphere.

Find some time to yourself

The kids are off school, you and your spouse are off work together, there may be family members visiting or staying. All these factors can make what should be an enjoyable festive period extremely overwhelming. Taking some time to just go out for a walk alone can stop tempers from fraying.

Think of the children

If possible try to avoid arguing in front of children. If nothing else you don’t want them to create negative connections with Christmas and familial breakdowns. If possible avoid confrontations, it is possible, and try to remain calm.

We’ve tried and it just isn’t working

There will be situations where despite every effort it will become an inevitable reality that a Christmas divorce is likely to happen. If this is the case we always recommend attempting to keep things as amicable as possible, particularly during the season of goodwill. If there are children in your marriage, consider that they may remember shouting, the word ‘divorce’, and one of their parents or carers potentially leaving the household. Although nerves and tempers may be frayed, it’s important to pick the right time to discuss your intentions and to begin proceedings.

Attempting to be amicable can also smooth the way for a streamlined and less stressful divorce. Sitting down together and discussing the best route forwards in regard to children, finances and property, can help to create a clean break ready for a new year and fresh start. It can also help to prepare you for mediation.

We also suggest seeking legal advice as early as possible. While it may be tempting to immediately file a divorce petition online, it’s worthwhile seeking practical and professional advice from an experienced divorce solicitor first. Our offices reopen on 2nd January at 9.00 and our team will be able to empathetically guide you through the divorce process whilst also exploring alternatives.

We offer a free, 15-minute, pre-bookable phone call with one of our experienced family law team. Alternatively, we offer a fixed £99 fee inc VAT  for a 45-minute meeting with one of our highly experienced family team. If you would like some confidential advice about a family legal issue, contact us today to book a meeting. Call 01795 742291 or email enquiries@jarmans-solicitors.co.uk