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Divorce Day is Monday 8th January 2024

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When is Divorce Day?

Divorce day is the first working Monday in January, this year it falls on Monday 8th January. It is the day of the year law firms receive the most divorce enquiries, they usually double.

Over 40,500 people in the UK are expected to search online for a divorce in January, this is 25% higher than usual traffic. Relate, one of the UK’s largest relationship charities, receives a 24% increase in calls during January compared to other months.

Why is Divorce Day on Monday 8th January?

Couples whose relationship is already in crisis try to stay together over the Christmas period for the sake of family or children but by January the stress of the holiday has taken its toll. In a poll of 2,000 couples 1 in 5 admitted they considered divorcing in January after staying together over the festive period. In a recent survey 1 in 8 couples said the time of year would impact when they decide to start divorce proceedings, they avoid doing so before Christmas and family holidays. In the same survey 1 in 6 said financial strain is also a factor, the excessive spending over Christmas contributing to the decision.

What is the divorce rate in the UK?

42% of marriages end in divorce and the length of the average marriage is 12 years. New divorce legislation came into effect from 6th April 2022. Between January to March 2023 there were 28,865 applications made (76% from sole applicants, 24% from joint applicants), including those for dissolution of civil partnerships.

Do I have to show that the marriage has irretrievably broken down?

In April 2022 the new legislation came into effect and allows for one party to the marriage or the couple jointly to file divorce proceedings stating the marriage has irretrievably broken down but without any supporting ground.

How does the new  divorce legislation differ from our previous laws on divorce? 

Prior to the new legislation, one party was required to present a Divorce petition on the basis that the marriage had irretrievably broken down supported by one of the following grounds

  • unreasonable behaviour
  • adultery
  • two year separation
  • five year separation

Under the new law at long last there is no need to apportion blame.

The new law does require the parties to have a period of reflection (26 weeks) from filing the petition before the divorce can be finalised so it is not necessarily quicker than the process that was previously used. 

Will  I need my  original Marriage Certificate?

A copy is not sufficient unless it is an official copy of the Registry Office.  If you got married abroad and your Marriage Certificate is not in English, you must get an official translation.  The Marriage Certificate gets lodged with your Divorce Petition.  Once this is sent to the Court, you will NOT get it back.

How long do I have to be married before I can apply for a Divorce?

You cannot get divorced until you have been married for at least one year.

Does it matter who issued Divorce Proceedings?

It may matter to you on a point of principle, but it does not matter to the Court and rarely has any impact in subsequent Court proceedings whether in regard to financial settlement or in respect of children. The main advantage for the person who issued the Divorce Proceedings is that it allows you more control.

Am I Divorced when the Decree Nisi has been pronounced?

No, please be aware that until your Decree Absolute is pronounced, you are still married and as a result your husband/wife is still your legal next of kin. If you have not made a Will, then they will be entitled to a large part, if not all, of your estate.  This is a matter that you will need to consider with your Solicitor.

Is Divorce Easy?

Divorce is a very stressful and emotional time.  

How can we Help?

F Barnes Solicitors have been providing Family Law advice for almost 50 years. We are supportive, friendly solicitors who recognise that during one of the most stressful times of your life you need someone in your corner. We specialise in making the whole process as stress free as possible. 

Drawing on our extensive experience, we help support you, from a free, first consultation, through to completion of your divorce, giving you the freedom to focus on starting your new life.

To arrange a free consultation with ‘step by step’ guidance to ensure you get the best outcome for you and your family call 01708 745183 or email HERE