The Taylor&Emmet Blog

Divorce statistics on the rise

Divorce solicitors across the city braced themselves for the annual rush of new work, following the Christmas break.

The first working Monday of January is known throughout the profession as ‘D-Day’ (divorce day). A number of factors contribute to this spike in separations, namely the emotional and financial pressures of Christmas, the extended period of togetherness and the fact many people make new year’s resolutions to reboot their lives.

In reality, D-Day is probably also the culmination of a decision parents made long before Christmas, but decided to delay, so as not to ruin the festive season for their children.

A report published by the Office of National Statistics in November showed there was a significant increase in divorce proceedings during 2019, with more than 100,000 marriages ended by the courts. I suspect this high number reflects a backlog of work that built up in 2018 and was a result, even if only partially, of the introduction of online divorces, which allow people to start the process with just a few clicks of the mouse. I wonder how many began after an argument or heavy night out drinking?

The long-term impact of Covid-19 upon divorce statistics remains to be seen, but we know that following the first period of lockdown, there was a flurry of new instructions.

In some ways, lockdown put the same pressures on families as Christmas. We were forced to spend extended periods of time together and many people have lost jobs or been furloughed, adding financial and emotional strain to the mix. Thankfully, it has brought some of us closer to loved ones and made us appreciate what we have.

The future is uncertain in so many ways and this may make some people think twice about adding divorce proceedings to the mix. Whatever happens, if you are considering ending your relationship permanently, it is important to seek advice from experienced family law experts.

We can help with all aspects of a relationship breakdown. For more information, contact us on (0114) 218 4000, or email

Michaela Evans

Michaela Evans is head of our matrimonial team. Michaela deals mainly with matters arising from family breakdowns, particularly those relating to finances and arrangements for children following separation or divorce. She also has a growing number of international cases. For more information on this topic email or call her on 0114 218 4000.

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