Why do divorce rates increase after Christmas?

Lund Bennett Family Law - Cheshire and Manchester

There are many reasons why divorce rates peak after Christmas. January is the most popular time of year for starting divorce proceedings, so people are likely to be feeling stressed and overwhelmed after the Christmas season.

January 7th is dubbed ‘divorce day’ in the UK, as many couples take the first step towards accepting that their relationship isn’t working by seeking advice about getting a divorce. But what is it about Christmas and the new year that pushes so many couples over the edge?

Falling out of love with your partner

First, divorce rates peak around New Year’s Day and then again around Valentine’s Day. This suggests that many people are lonely or unhappy on these particular holidays. It might be the case that some couples who have been together for years fall out of love with each other while others just get bad feelings on certain days of the year.

For this reason, divorce rates often increase in December and January. Furthermore, divorce rates remain high for a few days around Christmas (5%), then drop slightly until New Year’s Eve before rising again.

After the pressure of presents and family gatherings is over, some couples no longer want to be together. One reason why the divorce rate may be so high around New Year’s Day is likely because many people who have come to this decision see the start of the new year as an opportunity for change.

Christmas spending and divorce rates

Spending time with family members, you’re not used to spending time with and having to see your in-laws on Christmas Day might be what drives some couples over the edge.

It is also possible that an increase in divorce rates around the Christmas period may be due to couples spending too much money on presents and lavish gifts for one another. Spending so much money can strain a couple’s relationship and cause them to argue more often or even get divorced.

Alcohol & abusive relationships

The Christmas season can be a difficult time for many couples. This is because alcohol can amplify any existing problems in the relationship. When alcohol flows more freely over the festive period, many couples find themselves having more frequent and explosive disagreements.

On top of this, domestic violence and abuse reportedly spike during the festive season, with domestic violence incidents almost doubling in 2020 (dvact.org). Perhaps unsurprisingly, many divorce solicitors find that the number of domestic abuse complaints they receive between December and January increases significantly.

Keeping up appearances for friends and family

It is also possible that divorce increases during Christmas are due to the stress placed upon couples who must maintain a positive family image. Married couples may feel pressure to stay together even if they don’t want to keep up appearances for friends and family.

Christmas can also mean spending more time with family and in-laws than usual, which can cause tensions to run high. Existing tensions with in-laws can come to a head, causing arguments and testing family loyalties between couples.

How to get divorced in 2022

If you’re considering getting a divorce, it’s important to remember that there are ways to make the process easier for yourself and your children. Make sure you get a competent divorce solicitor who will help you get through the process as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Lund Bennett is one of the leading family law solicitors in Manchester and Cheshire with over a decade of experience providing expert legal services for divorcing couples. They can advise on various issues, including a financial settlement, parental responsibility, child custody arrangements, and access arrangements.

Contact Lund Bennett for expert legal advice. You can be confident that we will work for you to provide the best possible outcome for your particular situation.