Why are there so many divorce petitions in January?

08 January 2020 Blog Donna Goodsell

If you’re thinking about divorce once Christmas is out of the way, you’re not alone. Don’t panic, however. Help is at hand.

Every January at Goodsells Family Law, we see a rise in the number of calls we receive about divorce. And we’re not alone. According to data from Amicable, 40,500 people will do a Google search for ‘divorce’, while in January 2018, Relate experienced a 24% rise in the number of calls they received compared to an average month. All of this culminates in an increase in divorce petitions. 

In this article, we’ll examine why this happens, as well as what to do if you’re thinking of divorce.

Christmas stress

Christmas should be one of the most joyful times of the year, but so often it’s the final straw for a marriage. 

It’s a stressful time; couples feel under pressure to put on ‘a show’, especially when children are involved. This can lead to arguments over money, as partners stretch themselves to afford the best presents. 

Another thing about Christmas is that couples spend a lot of time together, often with extended families visiting. People don’t get their own space where they can relax, family feuds may erupt, bringing tension to already struggling couples. You also can’t underestimate the influence of alcohol on fuelling acrimony. 

Finally, Christmas is a time for children. Many couples, who may have been arguing and even considering separation throughout the year, decide that they will try and stay together for one last Christmas, for the children as much as themselves. When New Year comes around, they realise that it hasn’t worked and it’s time to take the next step; divorce.

New year, new beginnings

New year is a time when everyone tries to turn the page. People make resolutions, usually to lose weight or read more books or something like that, but some may decide their resolution is to free themselves from their failing marriage. It’s time to make a fresh start on a new era in their life.

New year is also an opportunity where you look back on what you have achieved in the previous year, then look forward to the year to come. We ask ourselves questions about where we want to be this time next year. For some, the answer is ‘not married’. 

January is also the furthest point away from the next Christmas, so there is time to arrange a divorce before they have to put a show on for their families again.

What to do if you’re considering divorce in January

If what I’ve discussed so far resonates with you, you may be worried about the implications of divorce. You may not know where to start and feel alone, without anyone to reassure you.

Here are five tips to bear in mind as you start your divorce journey.

  • Pick a good team – As soon as you start thinking of divorce, you need expert legal advice
  • Put your children first – If you have children, prioritise your children and their happiness ahead of scoring points off your partner
  • Get to know your finances – If you don’t have a working knowledge of your family’s finances, educate yourself immediately
  • Know that most cases settle – The majority of divorce cases do not go to court. If they do, it’s a last resort
  • Strike a balance between emotional and rational – divorce requires you to make informed decisions at an emotional time. Be aware of your emotions and how they affect you

Talk to Goodsells Family Law

Goodsells Family Law is a niche Family Law practice, headed by Donna Goodsell. Donna prides herself in providing a sensitive, intelligent, highly-skilled, personal and expert service to each and every client.

Donna guides her clients through every step of the divorce process, helping to relieve the financial and emotional stress of getting divorced. This culminates in an accurate and fair petition to achieve the most favourable financial settlement.

To find out more, call Donna Goodsell at Goodsells Family Law on 020 7622 2221 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..