Western Mail, 25th January 2010
The timing couldn’t be worse.

St Dwynwen’s Day it may be but for many people across Wales, divorce not devotion is on their mind.

January is the most popular month of the year for divorces and Welsh solicitors have once again seen an increase in clients.

Melanie Hamer, a partner at Cardiff-based Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice said historically January is the busiest month for divorces for a variety of reasons.

She said “A lot of people stay together over Christmas for the sake of their children. They make a decision to have one last family Christmas together before splitting.

“We find that often the number of new clients drops in the week before Christmas but then jumps dramatically after the festive period, perhaps with people making it their new year’s resolution to lose their partners like others might choose to lose weight.

“Other couples spend increased time at home within four walls which they’re not used to and emotions build up like a pressure cooker.

“They may be stressed because they have spent too much money and this adds to the pressure-cooker environment.”

She said that both the number of new clients and the amount of hits on their website doubles in the week after Christmas and trebled in the following week.

Mel Merritt, a spokeswoman for Relate, said they experience 50% more calls in January compared to December.

She said “At the start of the new year, people either resolve to fix their problems or draw a line under them and move on. We would urge anyone having problems to call relate as we can either held mend a relationship or reduce conflict.”

A 53-year old from Pontypridd, who asked to remain anonymous, had been separated from her partner for almost a year when she decided to inquire about getting a divorce and start with a clean slate for the year ahead.

She added: “The festive period was very unpleasant for my daughter and I and we didn’t want the same thing for the following year. We wanted a new start and to put it behind us. I decided January was the month to start finalising the end of my relationship. My husband had gone and I had to accept it and start afresh, which meant plucking up courage to go to the solicitors.”