The September Spike

Why does September see a rise in divorce enquiries?

Divorce & separation levels increase in September and January

For many years now, there has been a sizeable rise in the number of people seeking divorce and separation advice in September. It is not obvious why there is such a spike but there are some theories. As summer draws to an end and autumn arrives, a change in season often triggers people to review their lives. With summer holidays now a memory, children return to school or leave for University and it seems that parents, in particular, start to consider change.

It may be that those experiencing difficulties in their relationships wait to see what will happen over the summer holidays, perhaps hoping that extended family time will help reunite them with their spouse. However, the holidays may not live up to expectations and tensions often arise with a pressure to try and make it all perfect. Whilst holidays are supposed to be a time to relax and recharge, parents often find themselves exhausted in trying to keep everyone entertained, happy, occupied and organised. Extended time spent together in hotels, on flights and in airports often increases tensions further.  Some also have work commitments to juggle.  There is also usually significant costs for family holidays and for the various activities required to entertain children whilst off school, adding further stress. Essentially, for these reasons, the summer holidays are unlikely to help those in already strained relationships. When routines return to normal in September, it seems that some will take the opportunity to seriously consider a change and seek advice on either separation or divorce.

A similar phenomenon occurs in January, when a change of year triggers people to take stock of their lives. This too results in a noticeable increase in the number of enquiries for divorce and separation advice. Comparisons can be drawn with September, reinforcing the theories outlined above. January again follows a period of extended family time over the Christmas holidays but may also include less immediate family and in-laws. This time of year can also involve a significant amount of expenditure, stress, expectation, planning and travel.  With time off school, children often require an increased level of attention and entertainment, but not all parents are free from work commitments. When it is all over, some feel they must take action before they spend another year in an unhappy relationship.

It therefore appears this time of year can trigger some people to change their relationships. The reasons for reaching the point of actually seeking divorce or separation advice though can, of course, vary significantly between couples.

If you need legal help or advice concerning a divorce or a separation Hunt & Coombs can help. Our family solicitors are members of The Best Divorce Options Group, Resolution and practice the Collaborative Law process helping to transform the separation process for a couple and their children bringing positive benefits both financially and emotionally.

For further legal advice and to speak to one of the Family team please call 01733 882800 or email

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This article has been prepared for general interest and information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. While all possible care has been taken in the preparation of this article, no responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by the firm or the authors.