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No Cure For Couples’ Summertime Blues

Unhappy Holidays ‘Not Only Reason For September Rise In Divorce Enquiries’


Family law specialists are expecting a growing number of couples to reassess their relationships over the coming weeks, with the end of the summer holidays marking the moment when many choose to make a fresh start.

Experts at Irwin Mitchell have revealed how an increase in divorce enquiries is usually seen in the weeks immediately after summer breaks, with the period often rivalling the New Year in terms of the number of people seeking advice on separations.

However, they have also suggested that the reason behind couples considering a split at this time of year is often related to much more than just an unhappy holiday in the sun.

John Nicholson, a Partner and family law specialist at the national law firm’s London office, explained: “For many people, returning back to the reality of normal life after a relaxing summer holiday can be very difficult and put a strain on relationships. It is also fair to say that problems can arise on breaks which disgruntled couples may feel they simply cannot put behind them.

“However, in our experience the increase in enquiries following the summer holidays is often not related directly to issues which have emerged over the period. Generally, the decision to separate has been made weeks earlier, but parents hold off on taking action so that their children can enjoy their six-week break from school.

“This is very similar to the trends seen around Christmas, when couples choose to see out the festive period in the best possible way they can rather than making it a very difficult time for their children. They then tend to reassess their lives and look to make a fresh start in the New Year.”

John added that the reasons behind post-summer separations can vary significantly on a case-by-case basis.

He outlined: “Like at any point in the year, there is no specific trend in terms of why people choose to separate and proceed with a divorce following the summer.

“For example, older couples who are preparing to wave goodbye to their children as they head to university may be struck by fears over ‘empty nest syndrome’ and what that could mean for their relationship. Such a situation would be significantly different to those faced by younger couples who are going through difficult times.

“However, one constant in all situations is that couples need to seek the advice of professional legal specialists as soon as they have made their decision. From the outset, people need to find out about the options that are open to them in their specific circumstances.

“Getting professional advice can also ensure that divorces and subsequent agreements can be finalised in a manner which is fair and clear for both parties involved.”