January 4 is dubbed “divorce day” for lawyers as couples rush to employ their services having vowed never to share a turkey again. And given that Christmas 2020 was festive stress on steroids, minus the usual joy, today could be even busier than usual – the culmination of 12 months that’s felt like a collective marital breakdown waiting to happen.
Alex Carruthers of family law practice Hughes Fowler Carruthers says that in reality there are many divorce days scattered throughout the year, but there’s no doubt that post-Christmas is one of them. Contrary to popular myth, he found that the first lockdown led to a marked slowing of new cases.
“There just wasn’t anywhere to go which removed a lot of the temptations that lead to discontent within a marriage. Break-ups are often a combination of carrot – an affair – and stick, the fact that you find someone impossible to live with. The carrot was completely gone with no opportunities for people to meet someone new at work or out in the evening.”