Where is the snow???

It’s the school holidays and most families are enjoying their annual trip together in the sun. But wait, isn’t this the happiest time of the year for couples? Why are we mentioning the D word now?

No, it’s not because of the media furore over the personal details of thousands of members of the Ashley Madison website (although there may be some difficult conversations to be had at the breakfast table if the information reported to be made public does get disclosed.)

The first Monday after New Year is said to be ‘D-Day’ in the family lawyer’s calendar and January is reportedly the most popular month to start divorce proceedings in this country. Many stories appear around New Year highlighting this apparently annual event which the publicity machines generate to bring the start of the year in with a bang. Think back to January and we think you are likely to recall a few articles and press releases along that very theme.


However, we at Paradigm Family Law are here to debunk the myth. For it is just that, a myth. January’s ‘D-Day’ is really no more the peak time for a divorce than any other day in the year. But, it does appear that there are other times of the year when divorce more readily springs to mind.

At Paradigm Family Law we have conducted some research into the so called ‘Divorce Day’ phenomenon. The results make for very interesting reading.

New York Post

And it’s not just us. In a recent article published by the New York Post, their headline is “2015 is officially the summer of divorce”. They report on the high number of celebrities splitting up from Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert through to Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale. Even Kermit and Miss Piggy have officially called it a day.


It turns out that it is not January, but in fact it is JULY when most people are looking for advice on divorce. Based on search engine enquiries, July has the highest number of searches for ‘Divorce’ in the UK. Why not January, and why do many others seem to say it is the first month of the year when most people are looking to divorce?

In our experience, there is one explanation that is most likely to explain the statistics. Holidays. The research shows that the peak in divorce queries actually coincides with the main holiday periods in this country. Holidays are often a flashpoint and can often make or break a troubled relationship. Families spend more time together than their usual busy schedules allow. Routines are changed, and tempers can fray.

Managing Partner, James Thornton says:

“July is the time when couples and families traditionally get away for their annual main holiday. If there are cracks in a relationship then being together for extended periods of time can highlight those tensions. Holidays can be stressful not least the organisation and worrying that the destination is all it was advertised in the brochure. The statistics are right in my experience – I see an increase in enquiries around summer holidays especially when couples return home.

Some go away as a last attempt to save a relationship. This can work, but can often serve to cement the end of an already broken relationship. It is very sad, but at what is supposed to be a happy time and often a once in a lifetime experience, it doesn’t always work out that way.”

International D – Days

Our research went further afield too. We found that internationally‘D – Day’ is different from country to country. In Germany, our data shows that the peak time for Divorce happens shortly after Valentine’s Day in mid to late February. In France it is May, and in Spain and Portugal people are searching for divorce advice in August.

New beginnings

It may be that Autumn is the time for a fresh start, but whatever the reason perhaps when you hear about ‘D-Day’ think twice. The statistics show that divorce is much more likely to happen when your summer holiday is over than in the middle of winter.

Contact us

If you would like advice on this or any aspect of family law, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Paradigm Family Law on 0845 6020422 or email us at [email protected]. Ask about our fixed fees and free initial consultation.