Although divorce rates have fallen to their lowest level since the 1970s, separation continues to spike after the festive season.
Many attribute the stress and financial burden of trying to create the perfect Christmas as the reason why many married couples head for divorce in January.
Divorce Day, which falls on the first Monday back at work after the Christmas period and this year is on January 6, is when many look into the legal separation process. Family lawyers and support organisations receiving more enquiries in the New Year than at any other time.
There were 90,871 divorces in 2018, a decrease of 10.6 per cent compared with 2017 and the lowest number since 1971.
Couples are also staying married for longer before they divorce – 12.4 years for those divorcing in 2018, up from 9.6 years in 1996.
But analysts suggest that these figures are due in the main to marriages taking place later in life and often following a longer period of living together.
The decrease in divorce rates also reflects that there are far fewer marriages taking place overall, at nearly half the number of 1974.
Plymouth Live spoke with family lawyer Rebecca Moloney at Wolferstans, to find out more about how divorce rates have changed over the years.
“Unreasonable behaviour remains the most common reason for divorce with 51.9 per cent of wives and 36.8 per cent of husbands petitioning on this ground,” she said.
“At present, the only grounds for divorce in England and Wales is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, through adultery, unreasonable behaviour, the rarely used ground of desertion, two years of separation where both parties agree to divorce, or five years’ separation in which case the consent of the other party is not required.”
Rebecca added: “There has been much discussion over the last twelve months about changing the law to allow for no-fault divorce, without the need for a long separation.
“Such a change would hopefully allow couples deal with divorce in a more amicable way. We are still waiting for this legislation to go through Parliament and at present there is no confirmed timescale.”
At Wolferstans, the team recognises that clients need support to navigate the legal process. With help and guidance, Wolferstans can help you to separate in a non-confrontational way, which is particularly important when children are involved.
Wolferstans is a member of a Resolution which is an organisation made up of family lawyers and other professionals who promote a non-confrontational approach to resolving family disputes.
The solicitors adhere to the Resolution code of conduct in order to help separating couples deal with the consequences of relationship breakdown with as little acrimony as possible so that you can try to maintain a relationship for the benefit of your children in the future and avoid unnecessary conflict.
Wolferstans encourages parents to talk to their children and prepare the ground for separation and divorce, by avoiding accusations and placing blame or asking children to take sides.
Wolferstans has three solicitors who are trained to run cases through the Collaborative Law process.
Collaborative law aims to help you to resolve matters concerning family breakdown away from the court.
Both parties have their own Collaboratively trained lawyer and are supported to find a way forward in order to achieve the best possible outcome for your family.
The Collaborative law team at Wolferstans is made up of Vikki Martin, Phillip Thorneycroft and Rebecca Moloney, all of whom are experienced family solicitors who can advise on all aspects of relationship breakdown.
To find out more about divorce and separation, including the Collaborative law process, visit the Wolferstans website on www.wolferstans.com or contact the new client team on 01752 292288.