Family lawyers at a Sheffield firm say the traditional January increase in divorce enquiries is expected to continue in 2014 with many people having already made appointments for the first working week of the year.
Irwin Mitchell typically sees a 10 per cent increase in instructions for all family law services in January, including divorce and child abductions – where parents fail to return their children.
Lawyers said divorce enquiries were up 25 per cent last January compared to an average month.
Martin Loxley, an expert family and divorce lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office, said: “It’s a sad fact that in January many divorce lawyers have their busiest period, but it is a myth that everyone who comes to see us has made a sudden decision to split over the Christmas holidays.
“While there will be a number of distress calls from people who have suffered from problems such as extreme arguments and contact with children, the majority of people who contact us will do so calmly having been thinking about the decision for a while.
“In most cases it is not an easy decision for people to contact a divorce lawyer but they see the New Year as a chance to make a new start and many may have already spoken to lawyers informally over the past few months.
“Reasons for divorce vary widely, whether people have had a difficult Christmas period, have been planning a break-up for months, or perhaps older couples growing apart due to empty-nest syndrome. January often brings the promise of a fresh life away from whatever problems they may have faced before.
“There is desire from every direction to see divorces carried out in a fair and amicable manner.”