0370 1500 100

New Year New Start For Many Couples As Lawyers Prepare For Busiest Month

Irwin Mitchell Expect Traditional Spike In Enquiries For Divorces


Leading family lawyers at Irwin Mitchell say the traditional January increase in divorce enquiries is expected to continue in 2013 with many taking the view of ‘New Year, new start’.

The first working week of the year is traditionally the time when family lawyers receive a huge increase in enquiries. Irwin Mitchell team saw a 25 per cent rise in instructions for divorces across the UK in January 2012 against an average month.

But family law experts at Irwin Mitchell say there is a misconception that couples who have had a nightmare Christmas suddenly decide to get divorced and pick up the phone in January. Lawyers say that in reality the process usually starts much earlier.

Martin Loxley discusses the key issues surrounding the January divorce spike

Martin Loxley, a partner at Irwin Mitchell which has a national network of family law specialists across the UK, said: “Although our enquiries do usually rise significantly in January, many people we speak to will have been discussing separation with their partners for months and some may already have spoken to lawyers about a formal split before making the New Year call.

“Reasons for divorce vary widely but there seems to be a consensus that there is a feeling of New Year, new start for many people and that is why they talk to lawyers in January.

“Whether people have had a turbulent 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.”

However Loxley says the early divorce rush doesn’t mean that 2013 will be a bumper year for the courts with a growing emphasis all round on dispute resolution without the need for a judge’s decision. There are qualified mediators or collaborative lawyers in every family law team at Irwin Mitchell.

He added: “There are more ways to divorce amicably than ever before with mediation and the collaborative process certainly becoming more popular. There is a growing emphasis from courts, judges, marriage counsellors and most importantly our clients on resolving disputes out-of-court  where possible and many couples prefer this approach at the outset.

“No two relationships are the same and each individual divorce or separation is different whether amicable or not. The important thing is to seek professional advice early so that the right course of action can be agreed, especially where children are involved.”