Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year but for many warring couples it will signal the arrival of Divorce Day.
Today, January 6, is expected to be the busiest day of the year for family lawyers, as thousands of couples succumb to the pressure and file for divorce.
The first Monday back after the festive break, dubbed ‘Divorce Day’, generally receives more divorce enquiries from miserable spouses than any other day of the year.
And warring couples could face up to a four week delay while trying to file for divorce in January, lawyers have warned.
New research reveals one in ten British couples were already planning a divorce in December before festive celebrations began.
Half of which also wanted to finalise their divorce proceedings by the end of 2021.
A third of the 2000 UK married couples surveyed, ranked their relationships as unhappy or only “somewhat” happy.
Samantha Farndale, family lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: “This time of year, when people are spending days together in closer quarters, it can bring up issues.
“These might have been easier to look past normally as we are busy with work and other responsibilities. But as work ends for the year and other obligations slow we have time to examine our relationships and talk about the year ahead.
“The family court system is generally busy year-round, so when we have a rush of cases at the start of January it can create a real backlog of work for the courts, which creates delays.
“In previous years we have seen clients face up to four week’s wait on their cases.
“Law firms can also feel the pressure of increased demand and as business we have anticipated by ensuring we have a full team, ready to answer queries.”
Nearly three quarters of unhappy couples planning a divorce had made the decision to part ways in the last year, with a small handful sitting on the idea for nearly a decade.
Only two in five of those planning on divorce said their partner was certain of their plans, with women 12 per cent more likely to be unsure if their partner knew of their plans.
Samantha Farndale said: “Making the decision to formally separate any time of year is difficult, it’s also a more challenging and complicated process than many realise.
“This is why seeking proper legal advice is so important.
“It’s also important not to rush or make an impulsive decision as the festive period comes to an end, because often the pressures couples have been struggling with will also reduce.”