Whilst the Christmas period is often a welcome break to the majority, allowing time to be spent recharging the batteries and spending time with friends and family, it can be a problematic time for couples facing marriage difficulties. The extended time at home over the Christmas break can result in more frequent disagreements, leading to couples already under strain finally reaching breaking point.

Today, the first Monday back at work after the Christmas break, has thus been nicknamed ‘D Day’ or ‘divorce day’ by the media – statistically the day of the year that people are most likely to start divorce proceedings.

This year, more couples than ever could look to pursue a divorce in the first quarter of the year; keen to avoid the imminent cuts to Legal Aid. With public funding no longer available for many family cases from April this year, many couples who would previously have qualified for Legal Aid may end up falling through the cracks after April.

Solicitors – particularly those taking on Legal Aid cases – certainly don’t see busy periods as a cause for celebration. Indeed, any rise we see this year could be the tip of the iceberg, as we could see just as many people next year who are not able to access advice that helps support them through their separation.

Whilst divorce and separation will always be a painful time, but there are affordable and effective ways that enable both parties to reach an agreement, ensuring any children’s best interests are put first and that the courtroom is avoided wherever possible.

Many family law solicitors, including ourselves, offer a free initial meeting to talk through your options, so even if you will no longer qualify for Legal Aid, it’s well worth talking to a specialist solicitor about the options available to you. if you would like to arrange a free initial consultation about starting divorce proceedings, please don’t hesitate to contact us.