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Divorce Day: Cost-of-living crisis shift couples' separations into Spring

Divorce Day: Cost-of-living crisis shift couples' separations into Spring
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

Couples ending their marriage are tending to do so more in Spring than on the traditional ‘divorce day’, research finds.

Typically, the most common day for one of the 113,505 divorces each year is the first working Monday in January. But after a 4% rise in springtime splits last year, the most common time of year to end a marriage has changed.

Due to the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and an expensive festive period, a fifth of divorcing couples paused the process due to financial reasons in 2023. This is something that 63% of the 1,000 respondents surveyed by Co-0p Legal Services believed they later regretted.

Two-fifths (41%) said the delay negatively impacted their finances, while a quarter (24%) felt the relationship with their child deteriorated. Further, men were more likely to feel a negative impact when it came to the connection with their child, as 30% said they experienced that issue, compared to 21% of women.

Meanwhile, the price of separating is taking many by surprise too, as 60% believed the settlement involved would cost £2,887 when on average it’ll cost around £5,500. The costliest place to get a divorce is in Scotland, with an average price of £6,554 – more than double the cheapest in the UK, which is Northeast’s average of £2,965.

‘Divorce day has moved from January to springtime, coinciding with the new financial year’

Ben Evans, lead solicitor at Co-op Legal Services, said: “It is common in the industry to see a surge in divorce enquiries in January, which usually is a result of couples not wanting to disrupt the family home during the festive period.

“Our business data predicts that divorce day has now moved back from January to the springtime with more couples now waiting until then to start the divorce process, also coinciding with the new financial year.”

Evans added: “This suggests the impact the cost-of-living crisis has had on those wanting to divorce their spouse over recent years, with many potentially having not been in the position financially to start divorce proceedings.

“However, our research results reveal the negative impact delaying a divorce can have on families and careers and we would advise anyone in this position to reach out for advice, especially when coupled with the average divorce case exceeding one year.”

The legal service provider also shared five tips on what to consider when managing a divorce. Here they are:

Four tips on managing a divorce:

  1. Be prepared: Divorce isn’t easy, it can lead to loneliness, a location change and a drop in confidence, amongst other things. Preparing yourself for what’s to come can make it easier to deal with in the long run. Seek out community groups or new hobbies that may help you to establish a new support network
  2. What about your name? It’s up to you whether or not you want to keep your married name or go back to using your maiden name after divorce. If you do wish to keep your married name, then you can simply keep using it.
  3. Review your finances: Often one of the biggest concerns to an individual going through a divorce is how they will manage financially following separation. Gather what information you can about the household and individual finances to seek advice on your options.
  4. Know your rights. When children are involved in a divorce it can become more complicated. If the mother or father of your child is acting in a way that is preventing you from seeing your child, there may be action you can take such as getting a Court Order.