Post Christmas surge in divorces – myth or reality?

Post Christmas surge in divorces – myth or reality?


The received wisdom is that troubled couples stay together over the Christmas period under sufferance ‘for the sake of the children’, but come January they hit the lawyer’s office. As the nation returns to work, you will see the same articles appearing in the media across the country. They are more often than not written by solicitors many months before (or reused from previous years), and contend that there will be a surge in client enquiries about divorce in the first two weeks in January. My colleagues and I always exchange wry smiles at this point. Does this reflect reality or is is an attempt by those authors to drum up some business with the message “come on down: you are not alone!”

Jail Time for Child Abductors?

Jail Time for Child Abductors?

On 13 December 2011, in the criminal case of R v Kayani; R v Solliman ([2011 EWCA Crim 2871]), Lord Justice Judge refused to reduce custodial terms of three years and five years in respect of two men who had taken their children from their mothers, and stayed abroad for many years. He said that child abduction was ‘akin to kidnapping’ and lamented the differing maximum sentences of seven years for the former and life for the latter. He stated that the offences against the Child Abduction Act 1984 by both mothers and fathers were becoming increasingly troublesome:

Pitfalls in the Law for Unmarried Couples and How to Protect Yourself

At Blanchards Law we can advise you both at the start of your cohabitation, by drawing up an agreement between you, but also at the end, when you are thinking of separating.

  • The law around unmarried couples is still a grey area and you need to ensure that you take legal advice before you take any major steps, like moving out of your home, especially if you have children.
  • If you are just embarking upon your relationship, you should think about defining your financial arrangements, and this is most easily done by entering into a ‘Living Together Agreement’. It would cover such matters as:

Alternative Dispute Resolution – What is Mediation and Collaborative Law?

At Blanchards Law we offer both a mediation and a collaborative law service. These are known as alternative dispute resolution or ADR. If you and your spouse are still speaking to one another, and can communicate, one of these may well be the appropriate conciliation process for you.

Both mediation and collaborative law are suitable for married and unmarried couples, and for financial issues and children disputes alike.


  • This is often confused with reconciliation, but it is not designed to bring you and your spouse back together. You meet your spouse around a table, usually at the mediator’s office, and discuss your dispute. The mediator is a neutral person, who may or may not be legally qualified, and who will help to broker an agreement between you.

Points to Note About Divorce

  • The divorce process is quite straightforward and you will find a procedural timetable on our website.
  • You need to have been married for a minimum of 1 year before you can bring a petition.
  • You need to have grounds for the divorce and simply saying you don’t get on anymore doesn’t cut it. It’s a good idea to have a chat it through with a solicitor to see what grounds you do have.
  • You may be living under the same roof but still be classed as ‘separated’. Take advice on this.