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On social media I see many posts declaring that this year is going to see change (usually, in my case, it is that I will be fitter and thinner!).

In the next few days we will see newspaper articles and social media posts about ‘Divorce Day’. This is usually the second Monday in January when, apparently, solicitors’ offices are inundated with calls from potential new clients seeking divorces.

My experience over the last 25 years is that ‘divorce day’ is largely marketing hype, possibly designed to drum up business for firms for which January can be a difficult month. It is possible to see seasonal patterns in divorce but these ‘seasons’ do change from year to year.

People in unhappy marriages do not wake up on the 1st January and decide to contact a solicitor as soon as the children are back at school. There are some people who will have decided to grin and bear it through Christmas but the experience in our office was that we were inundated with calls prior the Christmas break – many making appointments for the new year, having already made the decision to split. January will not be quiet for us!

Marriages do not end over one holiday – I speak to lots of people who have endured unhappy marriages for months and even years before deciding to take legal advice. Some of those people then take months or years after taking legal advice to finally end their marriages.

Family law solicitors do not specialise in ‘divorce’ – they specialise in people and relationships. Good family solicitors will often have come to know their potential client over a period of time. I have clients now who have had the benefit of legal advice and may be considering reconciliation. Some of those clients ring me from time to time to let me know how things are progressing. They value talking things through with a specialist who understands that the breakdown of a relationship does not happen overnight or over Christmas.

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