Yesterday was dubbed as D-day, also known as Divorce Day. January 7th is the most common time of year that solicitors receive queries and applications about getting a divorce from their partner. The festive period unfortunately often triggers the end of what was once a happy relationship for some.

Here are some of the most common reasons as to why people are choosing to divorce in January, with expert opinion from Richard Scott, Head of Family Law at Howells Solicitors:


Alcohol of course can affect people in different ways. Some people get tired, some people get happy and some people get a little angrier. The National Statistics Office shows that alcohol consumption increases over Christmas and New Year by over 40% (wowzers!), and unfortunately this can sometimes be the trigger of domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is the worst-case scenario of having a little too much to drink over Christmas, but unfortunately it is quite common. Drinking too much can often lead to argumentative and unreasonable behaviour and, unfortunately, we do see a lot of divorce applications because of this.”

Financial Pressures

A typical household in the UK spends an extra £500 in December than any other month. It isn’t just the extra presents for our children that we spend money on, but also food, clothes in the sales (probably could be avoided), and alcohol.

Financial pressures definitely put a strain on relationships and can be the cause of arguments. Different parties in a relationship may want to spend money on different things and may not agree with how much is getting spent overall.

Christmas Party Affairs

Let’s be honest; we have all, at one point in our life, gotten carried away with alcohol and regretted it the next morning. Adultery can often take place at the office Christmas party after a few extra drinks, for some.

Understandably, if an honest partygoer goes home and tells their partner the truth, it may lead to separation, if they feel as though they can’t work through this.

“Sadly, this is not uncommon. We receive a lot of online divorce queries due to adultery over the Christmas period, again fuelled by alcohol and often from a Christmas office party.”

Spending Too Much Time Together

As couples spend more time with their loved ones over the festive period, it can often lead to realisations that a partner doesn’t make them happy.

On top of December being the biggest time for personal reflection, people often use the ‘new year, new me’ thesis, and look to start fresh in January. 

Staying Together for the Kids

It makes sense; nobody wants to see their children upset at the best of times, never mind over Christmas. A lot of families may have decided on divorce prior to the festive season but stay together for the sake of keeping their children happy over Christmas.

“My experience at Howells shows that partners have already agreed to go their own ways, but stay together for one last Christmas rather than cause disruption and heartache. Our research showed that 29% of people admitted to staying in unhappy relationships for their children.”

Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


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