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New Year… New Start?…
Colleagues, clients and friends often ask whether January really is the busiest time for Divorce.
It would seem that the flurry of PR activity and advertising by many family lawyers in January would suggest such.
It could be said that Divorce is more popular in January as people that have perhaps been unhappy for a number of months previously want a fresh start for a new year. What better time to make a change?
It could also be said that unhappy couples hold together towards the end of the year in an attempt not to ‘ruin’ Christmas, particularly where children are involved and therefore January tends to see the issue of proceedings for those who would have issued in November or December.
Perhaps it is because Christmas is a time when most couples spend more time together than usual… and indeed with the extended family which may crystallise any unhappiness.
Maybe the office Christmas party has led to a third party being involved, or perhaps an increase in social events has led to unhappy, alcohol fuelled disagreements. Perhaps marriages suffer more in January when the dark cold nights draw in, finances are particularly tight after the Christmas excitement and a summer holiday is a distant dream with nothing more than a healthy eating plan on the agenda in the meantime.
Or perhaps it is just a misconception that January is Divorce month of the year and the buzz in Family Lawyers office at the start of the year is more as a result of an extended break away from the office over Christmas.
The Ministry of Justice issues a statistic bulletin each quarter, the latest which was published on 18th December 2014 and shows the following statistics for the number of Divorce Petitions for each quarter of each year;
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
January –March 32,636 34,589 34,660 33,708 30,896 28,548
April –


32,550 33,413 29,499 30,502 32,038 27,580
July – September 34,476 34,761 34,535 31,074 28,432 29,143
October – December 32,476 30,741 30,615 29,167 26,136
Unfortunately the published figures are only quarterly and therefore a monthly analysis is not possible however it is apparent that January – March is not necessarily the most common quarter for Petitions and perhaps the January rush is a myth after all!
One thing that is certain is a Divorce in any month of the year can be a difficult and stressful time.
If you wish to discuss matters further, please do not hesitate to contact Emily Cannell or Lyn Rutherford in our Family Law Department on 0191 281 6151 or and arrange a mutually convenient time for a 30 minute chat, free of charge.

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