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‘Divorce Day’ could signal worst January spike in years

A return to post-COVID normality looks set to trigger a record rise in divorce enquiries in South Yorkshire this month – traditionally the busiest time of the year for the start of separation proceedings.

Divorce Day

Bradie Pell

‘Divorce Day’ (January 9th), coupled with ‘Blue Monday’ a few days later (January 16), is likely to see a major spike in legal enquiries from couples sadly throwing in the towel, according to Bradie Pell, head of family law at Graysons in Sheffield.

The two ominous days in this month’s calendar highlight the depressing mix that has traditionally given rise to an increase in divorce proceedings in the first half of January.

‘Divorce Day’ is normally viewed as the first working Monday of January – struggling couples just manage to hold it together over the festive period before seeking legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

If they survive that it could be ‘Blue Monday’ – regularly cited as the most depressing day of the year with its mix of gloomy weather, failing New Year resolutions and the realisation of debt accrued over the festive period – that could push couples over the edge.

The country already witnessed an increase in the number of divorces in 2021 and 2023 – seen as the year when things finally settle down after COVID – could see a further increase.

Bradie Pell, head of family law and partner at Graysons, said:

“Though the COVID period was very challenging, the need to maintain the ‘household bubble’ meant couples stuck together through a period of great uncertainty. We’re now out of that period and predictions are pointing to – sadly – a rise in divorce rates once again.”

Though the last few months have seen major changes in the law and last April saw the introduction of the ‘no fault’ divorce, Bradie urges couples to ensure they get the correct advice and ensure they exhaust all other options before seeking separation advice.

“There is a wealth of information online, but it’s definitely not a case of one size fits all. I’d always recommend couples take proper, legal advice. I think it’s very important that people know the shape of the process they’re entering into and what divorce might look like for them. Sometimes the option of marriage guidance counselling could be the first step. 

At the end of the day nobody wants to see a couple go through the emotional turmoil of a divorce but if they do have to, obtaining proper legal advice is key.”

Bradie added:

“There’s no doubt the stresses of the festive period can push some couples over the edge and our expertise will be in demand as previous years’ statistics show.”

Born and bred in Sheffield, Bradie started her legal career at the University of Sheffield where she successfully undertook a degree in law and criminology.  Bradie then went on to complete her legal practice course at the University of Sheffield. She qualified as a solicitor in 2010.

Bradie deals with the whole spectrum of legal issues that affect families, including divorce, separation, finances – with particular emphasis on pensions and property portfolios, injunctions and matters relating to children.

Contact Bradie, or one of our family law experts now.

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