Done by Christmas: why you should file for divorce in September
Director Rita Gupta discusses why September is a key month when couples make the decision to get divorced.
Summer holidays are supposed to be relaxing, We’re all sold the dream of happy couples and families splashing in pools, lounging on beaches, enjoying time together. This is often compounded by countless social media and Facebook posts of the perfect family holiday. Sadly, the reality is often quite different, which may explain why September has overtaken January as the peak month for starting divorce proceedings.
A study by the University of Washington suggested this was often because:
“People tend to face the holidays with rising expectations, despite what disappointments they might have had in years past. They represent periods in the year when there's the anticipation or the opportunity for a new beginning, a new start, something different, a transition into a new period of life. It's like an optimism cycle, in a sense.”
The other factor is that, unlike everyday life, couples are spending every hour of every day together whilst on holiday. In daily, life most couples work separately, so together time is limited to evenings and weekends. Even then, couples may have different hobbies or interests that keep them apart, or go separate ways to take kids to their different activities. Busy schedules can mask problems in marriage.
A week spent in a hotel room or villa, however luxurious, throws couples together for longer periods of time. This alone can bring underlying tensions bubbling to the surface. Add in a larger than usual consumption of alcohol, and what has remained unsaid until now may blow up into a major argument.
So, when on-the-brink couples return home, the cracks in their relationship may have widened to such a degree that divorce is the best option to choose.
Back to school
Another driver for filing for divorce is when children return to school after the summer holidays. Just as their children are starting out on a new school year, couples may feel it’s time to move on in their lives too.
Starting a divorce at the start of the school year actually offers children extra security and certainty. They will have the support of daily school life, their friends an their school in what will inevitably be an upsetting and emotional time in their lives as their parents separate.
Sorted by Christmas
Many couples want to avoid the Christmas holidays becoming a re-run of the arguments they had on their summer holiday, or to live through another unhappy festive period with matters in limbo. So, they want to move forward with divorce proceedings in September in order to get the divorce ‘done’ by Christmas. Knowing that the divorce is in progress allows couples to plan child arrangement well in advance for the Christmas period, including who sends what days with whom, and where.
As experienced divorce lawyers, we can certainly make that happen, with the caveat that you should never compromise your financial settlement or child arrangements for the sake of speed or a date on a calendar. Some divorce cases take more time to resolve than others, as we work to ensure that the interests of children are protected and that full disclosure ensures the best financial settlements for you and your family.
New year, new you
An autumn divorce allows the whole family to start afresh in the New Year in their new, separate lives. The optimism of a new year helps couples mentally leave the upset behind in the past year, and move forward with more confidence. With the social whirl and possible extended family pressure of Christmas gone, all parties involved have a chance to reassess, regroup and plan ahead.
The courts and many law firms close over the Christmas and New Year period so waiting and issuing on January 2nd often isn’t the most efficient timing.
How LGFL can help
LGFL do not offer ‘quickie’ divorce for one simple reason - you never achieve the best settlement possible. A rushed divorce inevitably has to overlook certain elements in favour of a self-imposed or artificial deadline.
Instead, we offer a pragmatic and empathetic approach to divorce that combines time- efficient progress with in-depth scrutiny and a determination for accurate and full financial disclosure. We can also provide a collaborative law approach that can reduce the need for court hearings, and provide a less stressful experience for all involved. (For more details see our collaborative law page.)
Take the first step today
If you want to file for divorce and have much of your case resolved before Christmas, you need to act now, and come and see us for an initial consultation. We’ll talk through your situation, your family circumstances, and suggest ways to ensure your divorce proceeds as smoothly as possible. This will include advising you on the financial information you’ll need to collate, which will be central to securing the best financial settlement for you and your family.