The first Monday back to work is officially known as ‘D-Day’ in the legal business – with the ‘D’ standing for Divorce. This year, ‘D-Day’ falls on Monday 10 January 2011 the start of the first full working week after the New Year break, and the day when warring spouses are most likely to instigate divorce proceedings against each other.
Relationship advisors say that spending the long Christmas break together is often the final straw for couples whose marriage is heading for the rocks. So the New Year signals a new start for many couples that finally resolve to take legal advice about separation. Often after holding fire over the festive season whether for the sake of the children, the relatives or the mountain of presents under the tree, more couples seek to end their marriages in early January than at any other time.
“We are tremendously busy at this time of year,” says Rachel Buckley, a partner in the South West’s leading family law firm Hartnell Chanot: “Clients will often use Christmas as a time of reflection or an opportunity to attempt a reconciliation. But too much yuletide togetherness can prove disastrous for couples already under stress, the festivities serving to accentuate rather than mend the cracks in their relationship.
At Hartnell Chanot we realise the importance of encouraging couples to seek alternatives such as family mediation or to talk about their problems with organisations such as Relate, however we also understand that for some it is simply too late.”
Despite ‘D-Day’ family campaigners can rejoice that divorce rates are generally in decline and the divorce rate is currently at its lowest level since 1979. (Source: ONS 2010).
Never the less, as D-Day looms Hartnell Chanot Family Solicitors, one of the largest family law specialist in the South West, are still expecting busy telephone lines for the first full week back to work after the New Year celebrations.
Rachel commented: “Rather than criticising couples for splitting up, the aim for ‘the family’ is to work together, sharing the goals and responsibilities in the children’s upbringing, and establishing contact rights, living arrangements and financial agreements that are in everyone’s best interests.”