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Divorce Month: Why Do Divorces Increase in January?

Many media outlets are quick to report on “divorce day”, the first working day in January, which often results in the largest number of divorces being filed all year for solicitors.

However, is there any truth in the fact that the number of divorces increases in January?

According to figures from a team of family solicitors, divorce rates in January are 27% higher than at any other time in the month. Research conducted asked over 2,000 spouses and found that one in five married people consider separating from their partner after spending time together during the festive period. Why is there such a spike in the number of divorces in January?

Reasons for January Relationship Tension

There are many factors that often lead to divorces taking place in January with most experts citing festive pressure as one of the main catalysts for divorce. Many attempt to use the festive period to stabilise or save their relationship in the hope that spending more time together over such a period can save their relationship, However, often,  the festive period offers more strain than relief.

If a couple has been experiencing difficulties in their relationship, then spending time with each other and their children for the first time in months can make them realise the extent of their problems. The pressure of having cousins, parents-in-law and friends visit or stay can also magnify relationship problems.

Perhaps naturally, those that are going through a divorce often do not want to do so over the Christmas period; this can result in a drastic rise in the number of people filing for divorce in January. The New Year often makes people wish to make a change or realise that their relationship is not working; thus, such a change can also be seen as a catalyst for obtaining a divorce.

Getting a Divorce in Scotland

While there are many grounds for divorce in English law, there are only two that can be cited under Scots law. There are two grounds for divorce:-

  • the marriage has broken down irretrievably
  • one of the partners to the marriage has an interim gender recognition certificate.

If you are getting divorced because your marriage has broken down irretrievably you or your partner will have to show that the marriage no longer exists. The irretrievable breakdown of the marriage can be proved in one of the following ways:-

  1. Your partner has behaved unreasonably
  2. Adultery
  3. You've lived apart for at least one year and you both agree to the divorce
  4. You've lived apart for at least two years but one of you doesn’t agree to the divorce.

Unreasonable behaviour can be defined or cited to include mental or physical cruelty, violence or abuse, and less obvious things like dominating a partner, not letting the partner leave the home or speak to neighbours and friends or refusing to pay for housekeeping.

Family Law Experts: Contact Us

If you wish to speak to a solicitor about obtaining a divorce or if you wish to begin divorce proceedings, our team of expert family solicitors can help. Get in touch with our team today using our online contact form.

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