January has traditionally been the month in which the greatest number of couples separate each year. However, Summer holiday separations are now starting to rival Christmas and the New Year as the biggest “make or break” time for marriages.
Most families look forward to the Summer holidays hoping to enjoy quality time together. However, in reality, when couples spend more time in each other’s company, this can put them under pressure and can be a test of even the strongest of relationships.
It is expected that there will be a surge in separations in Scotland in August and in England and Wales in September following return to school. It is anticipated that the number of separations will be in the region of 20% higher than the likes of May and June.
The fact of the matter is that many parents and couples end the Summer holiday period by taking a long hard look at their relationship with their partner and, in some cases, taking it as far as a separation or divorce. When the whole family is thrust together for a longer period there are bound to be flashpoints with arguments and even boredom.
Everyone enjoys the idea of spending quality family time together and having a relaxing break, but the reality is that, when there are already difficulties in a relationship, the school Summer holidays can place more strain on marriages than anything else in the year.
It is notable that the spike in separations was not as pronounced during the COVID years of 2020 and 2021, possibly due to fewer holidays taking place. However, even during those two years, there was still an increase in separations during the August/September period in the region of 12% compared to the months leading up to the Summer holidays. In 2018 and 2019 the increase was 20% and 21% respectively.
At this time, of course, families are also experiencing significant financial pressures due to the likes of energy costs, fuel costs, inflation in general and average salary increases failing to keep pace with inflation. Households are under a great deal of stress. COVID has taught us that, although matters such as spending more time together or having financial concerns can create more stress and disagreement between couples, it can also make it more difficult to separate due to the fact that there is financial uncertainty. Whether or not additional financial pressures will increase or reduce the rate of separation in the short term remains to be seen. Certainly, during the initial COVID period, separations reduced significantly, but there have been spikes in separations during the last two and a half years or so at times which are generally unusual.
Of course, separation does not always need to be a contentious matter. Raising a court action to deal with divorce and financial matters upon separation is a last resort. There are other ways of resolving issues. At Jones Whyte LLP we have Solicitors who are trained in Collaborative Practice. The purpose of Collaborative Practice is to ease tensions and ensure that all negotiations take place at four-way meetings with those who are separating present. Collaborative Practice is designed, specifically, to avoid the need for court proceedings. It is a quicker and cheaper method of resolving issues than court.
If you wish to discuss Collaborative Practice or any other matter relating to your separation or family law in general, please contact one of our Solicitors at 0330 175 1234 or email@example.com. More information regarding collaborative practice can also be found on the consensus Scotland website, which is linked here Collaborative Practice.
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