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‘Blue Monday’ brings increase in divorces

A national trend of increasing numbers of divorce cases during the New Year is being reflected locally, according to a Lancashire family lawyer.

Many people returned to work on Monday, January 6, a date dubbed Blue Monday and highlighted as ‘the most miserable day of the year’ by commentators.

January is also said to be the busiest for divorces being filed, second only to September.

Helen Lucking, partner in the Family team at Napthens solicitors in Blackpool, reports that the enquiries received by the law firm following the Christmas break do traditionally increase.

However, she added that in many cases the effect of such divorces on couples and families can be reduced by using alternatives to court.

She said: “In January we certainly get an increased number of enquiries about relationships breaking down or contact issues. This is no coincidence and reflects that couples have recently had a fairly long break from work, spending more time together – a similar reason for the increase in divorces in September after school holidays.

“Often we find that Christmas and the new year can be a catalyst for making an important change, or that a couple has put off a divorce until after the festive season.

“Unfortunately a divorce can be a very painful process, but avoiding court – often an expensive, stressful experience – can make things easier.

“Couples can go to mediation to resolve issues; they could look at using specialist collaborative lawyers or negotiate between their solicitors to reach an amicable agreement. There are plenty of options.

“Many couples will also be concerned about the cost of a divorce, but law firms sometimes offer a fixed fee service which can also help. Anyone with concerns should contact their solicitor for advice.”