The Christmas period can often be stressful for families. The expectation that everyone should be happy and enjoy the festive period can often be “the straw that breaks the camel’s back”.
The New Year often brings resolutions, resolutions to change things and to make the New Year better than the last. Often for many, this sadly means making the difficult decision to divorce. Is this related to New Year’s resolutions, the stressful festive period or simply a good time to do what you had been intending to do for some time? Who knows but the media have jumped on this and we bizarrely have what is now known as “Divorce Day”, which falls on 5th January for those who don’t know. This is in my view a misnomer as I must say that yesterday in the office felt rather like today in the office, as busy as usual. Typically, however, January as a whole for family lawyers is a very busy period, where there is a noticeable spike in new instructions for divorce.
The idea of “Divorce Day” sits uncomfortably with me, whether it is real or fictional. It gives me no pleasure to see a rise in enquiries after what was for some a miserable Christmas period. Of course, we want to help where we can but the requirement for this service after a horrid festive period is not a pleasurable experience for anyone. A divorce involves the break- up of what was once (hopefully) a happy family, where there are emotions of real people, where there are finances entwined and where there are often children.
When one gets the courage to enquire about how to deal with this, when they finally get the strength to enter into this complex area, which must be dealt with carefully, strategically and sensitively, they deserve respect; not to be labelled as another casualty of the festive period.
Grainne Fahy, Partner – Family Dept, Hanne & Co