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Divorce Day 2022: Why Couples Are Most Likely to Split Up On This Day in January

This day in January is said to be the most likely day of the year that couples split up and seek to get divorced. Find out what day it is and why.

The first working day after Christmas offers the chance of a fresh start, particularly for those in unhappy marriages.

Dubbed “D-Day” (or Divorce Day) by lawyers, the first day back at work after Christmas annually sees record numbers of people start divorce proceedings. In fact, one in five divorced couples say Christmas was the hardest time in their relationship with 10% contacting a lawyer immediately after Christmas.

The research, which comes from leading consumer legal services company, Slater and Gordon, was conducted with more than 1,000 people who have been through the divorce process.

If you found yourself arguing with your partner more over Christmas, then you’re not alone. 16% of those surveyed say they argued more during the festive period than any other time of the year with a further 15% saying Christmas spelt the end of their marriage. An additional 14% say Christmas was a horrible time for their children due to fighting.

Younger divorcees appear to find Christmas placed more strain on their marriage than any other age group as almost 40% said the festive period marked the end of their relationship. This is compared to only 12% of those aged 45 and above. Millennials were however most likely to have a “make or break” Christmas, with a third saying they gave it one last shot, compared to only 12% of people aged 45 plus.

Georgina Chase, head of family law at Slater and Gordon, said: “Christmas can be a challenging time for anyone and if problems already exist in a marriage, they may well be exacerbated during this time. It is important that if a marriage is an unhappy one and divorce is inevitable, that independent legal advice should be obtained as early as possible in order that informed decisions can be made. This will help ensure a more collaborative and potentially less difficult divorce which is especially important when children are involved.

“At Slater and Gordon, we typically receive the most divorce enquiries immediately after Christmas. In January 2021, whilst we were in lockdown and at the peak of the pandemic, there were fewer enquiries as people were unable to source alternative accommodation and were hesitant to make drastic changes to their lives. We are expecting many people will instead have waited for a less turbulent time meaning this D-Day could be the biggest yet.”

Relationship expert and coach, Kate Mansfield, said: “Christmas, birthdays and other occasions are often loaded with expectations and pressure to 'have a good time'. Add difficult relatives, lots of forced time together and the tendency towards an end of year review of what is wrong with our lives and Christmas is often extremely challenging for many people.

“Christmas is our busiest time of year, it's a time when we are bombarded by online pics of happy couples and families and can trigger singles to feel inadequate and lonely. My work is ironically about helping people to start to really enjoy being single and then dating, as opposed to being so focussed on finding 'the ONE'. This usually helps them to find a happy relationship more quickly than a desperate hunt.”

For those that are struggling with their relationship post-Christmas, Kate added: “Take time out for yourself. Meditate, go for a walk, rest, relax, and outsource tasks as much as possible, get the kids involved in cooking and helping. Avoid perfectionism, let go and just try to get into the fun and joy of having fun playing games and being close to those that you love. Remember, family can come in many forms, often friendships can become a huge source of support at this time of year. Lean onto these relationships and be there for each other.”

If you find yourself in this situation, here, we've rounded up some helpful reads for you.

1. What You Need to Know About the New No Fault Divorce Legislation - Click here to read

2. 5 Important Things You Need To Consider When Appointing a Divorce Lawyer - Click here to read

3. What Happens to My Pension When I Divorce? - Click here to read

4. The Rise of Over-50s Divorce: A Closer Look at the Reasons Behind the Trend - Click here to read

5. Video Podcast: 55/Redefined x Slater and Gordon - The "D" Word - watch below

Our legal partner Slater and Gordon’s expert divorce lawyers can provide all the advice and guidance you need if you are considering a divorce, and can help you prepare in advance of the new legislation coming into play.

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