January Is Often The Busiest Time Of Year For Divorce
Family law departments often face a manic start to the year, as January traditionally sees a rise in divorce proceedings.
The timing does, in a way, make sense. The festive season will often heighten any problems, as couples must spend increased amounts of time with each other, children and their in-laws – something many will find stressful. Even the weather is a contributing factor, as rain and snow force people to remain at home.
The consequence is that people begin to reflect on the state of their relationship over the long holiday period. Then January kicks in, the bills arrive, the expense of Christmas becomes a reality, and arguments ensue. Suddenly husbands and wives reach tipping point and begin to contact divorce solicitors.
This theory is supported by the statistics. In 2012, searches for divorce on the Ministry of Justice website nearly doubled. Family lawyers are reporting another rise this year, causing some to dub the first week back at work ‘divorce day.’
In response to this January peak, the Government has announced plans to invest a further £10 million into mediation services across the country. Mediation is becoming an increasingly popular tool for divorcing and separating couples who are unable to decide upon financial and childcare matters. When compared to court proceedings, the mediation process on average saves each client £3,500, and takes about quarter of the time.
The Government’s commitment to supporting mediation was highlighted by Family Justice Minister Lord Thomas McNally, who said: “All too often money is wasted on expensive and traumatic court hearings that can take far too long to resolve – and that is why we want to help people to use mediation, a quicker and simpler approach which brings better outcomes.”
Nevertheless, it is still vital to seek independent legal advice before proceeding with mediation. This is because you must know your rights before you agree to anything or you could end up losing out.
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