The first week back in the office of 2016 has officially passed and the usual media hype surround “Divorce Day” has quietened down. It is widely reported that 4th January is the day each year that more people make contact with solicitors to request advice in relation to divorce and separation.

Maybe that is due to New Years resolutions, the additional stresses of the festive season on already strained relationships, or maybe people prefer to get Christmas “out of the way” before approaching the subject of separation.

The family lawyers’ organisation known as Resolution has reported a clear change in the previously renowned Divorce Day trends. In a survey of their family lawyer members, 82% confirmed they did not experienced any spike in enquiries during the first week of the New Year in 2015, and it is expected that will be the case in 2016 also.

I believe the approach taken by people nowadays is to seek information online; looking for guidance and support in the separation process, rather than immediately approaching lawyers to commence formal proceedings.

At Farleys we welcome this approach and encourage all of our clients to approach their separation in a conciliatory manner. In our experience this approach reaches conclusions that are cost effective, quick and less damaging on the family unit going forward. In the case of contentious, long fought court battles, the parties take longer to recover from the separation process, it is more likely to impact on their future relationships and the effect on children of the family when their parents are engaged in bitter court battles is significant.

It is clear that approaches to divorce and separation are changing and we as lawyers are changing our approach to meet the needs of our clients both in the present, and also to try to ensure they move forward to a future that allows both parties to parent their children together whilst separated.