Divorce Month

‘Divorce Day’ is a term used by the legal profession to typically describe the first working day of January when they receive a surge in new enquiries from couples seeking to divorce. This year it fell on 4th January. Searches for “I want a divorce” increased by 230% in January, 2020 compared to December 2019. The pandemic is likely to influence what happens in 2021. The news continues to include figures on the rise in domestic violence during Covid-19 lockdowns, for example.

We would dub it ‘Divorce month.’ In January 2019 WSMS experience a record number for referrals from individuals in need of their mediation skills. The total of 52 new referrals exceeded their previous high of 45, registered in January 2018. Many of those referrals were from divorcing/separating couples wishing to dissolve joint finances and/or formalise child arrangements.

Poundland is even trying to cash in on the phenomenon by launching a “divorce range” aimed at those who want to celebrate a new start in life. The discount retailer said the new products will coincide with Divorce Day 2021, and would be launched in stores from mid-January. The range includes party items (for when lockdown and social distancing rules allow get-togethers again) and an extended range of ‘toys’!

Covid-19 aside, there are lots of reasons why January is seen as ‘Divorce month’. The stress of trying to create the perfect Christmas, financial troubles made worse by the festive spending, or individuals just wanting a new start/partner for the New Year, all contribute. Throw in all the intense time spent together, extended family bickering and unrealistic expectations and it can all spell disaster for some relationships. This year things have been further affected by the pandemic.

According to data analysed by divorce support service Amicable, more than 40,500 people will have searched ‘divorce’ online during the month of January – a hefty 25 per cent higher than the usual traffic.
A word of caution is offered to those thinking about splitting up – previous research by Relate has shown that 1 in 10 divorcees say that with the right support they would have been able to save their relationship and stay together.

Mediation helps everyone involved to hear and understand one another and to work together, with the aim of finding the best solutions that suit all those involved. WSMS has several experienced Family Mediators who can help separating or divorcing couples have a much less stressful and costly experience when attempting to dissolve finances or make sensible child arrangements . We are happy to offer advice over the phone. Call us on 0300 200 0025, email family@wsms.org.uk or try our Live Chat facility on the website.