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Re-evaluating relationships in the new year: Is divorce the right move?

15 January 2024

With Christmas festivities over and another new year now well underway, the day widely known as ‘Blue Monday’ is upon us once more.

Although originally devised as a marketing ploy, Blue Monday – this year falling on 15 January – is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. Whilst there is no scientific basis for it, there are many reasons why the new year can be a difficult time for some.

In a family law context, this often involves the re-evaluation of relationships. Indeed, within the profession, January is referred to as the ‘Divorce Month’ as divorce instructions tend to peak immediately after the Christmas holidays in line with ‘fresh start’ type resolutions.

The festive period itself can be highly emotional and stressful, and it is widely recognised that seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is prevalent at this time of year. Any decision to leave a marriage should be carefully considered, and there are plenty of resources out there for couples who might need support to work through their issues rather than draw a line under them.

For those who have made the decision to move on over the Christmas period – or perhaps decided earlier but postponed the formalities until the new year – it is important to ensure that you fully understand the legal processes involved.

The ‘no fault divorce’ system that came into force in April 2022 has gone a long way towards making the process much easier to deal with. However, the simplicity of pursuing a divorce application online leads some couples to overlook the need for legal advice to ensure the practical consequence of divorce is dealt with properly, particularly in relation to financial claims.

There is no doubt that a decision to divorce is life-changing, but the simplified divorce process can provide a false sense of security when, in reality, financial claims remain open until a separate financial remedy court order is made (which can be made by consent) and any child arrangements must be carefully considered as the concept of spending time across two households is introduced.

A specialist family lawyer can help you to identify what needs to be dealt with in your case, as well as the divorce application itself, if that’s where your new year’s resolution leads you.

With professional help and support, you can ensure that all matters arising from the marriage are properly considered and settled, allowing you to begin your ‘fresh start’ life in the knowledge that you are sufficiently protected from any future claims.

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Our Legal 500 and Chambers-rated department can help with all aspects of family law. Our lawyers listen to your needs sensitively and fairly, providing clear, supportive and careful guidance to deliver the best outcome for you.

Disclaimer: All legal information is correct at the time of publication but please be aware that laws may change over time. This article contains general legal information but should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please seek professional legal advice about your specific situation - contact us; we’d be delighted to help.
Joeli Boxall LLB (Hons), LLM
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