Christmas and families

In this period between Christmas and the New Year, I tend to go to the office to catch up on my paperwork. I consider it to be my quiet time to clear those bits of paper from my desk and tidy up a bit.

This is probably in stark contrast to what people think that a family law solicitor does at this time of year. Every year I read articles on the same subject and I sometimes even see a "celebrity" solicitor on T.V pushing the same story year after year about how busy family lawyers are after the Christmas period. Having worked for a number of firms over a number of years, I disagree. Even when I was a legal aid solicitor with a great deal more work, we had very few emergency situations arise during this period.

In my opinion, those people who have had a rough time in their relationship over the Christmas period put their heads down and get on with life in January. It seems to me that it is only when they get to February, with Valentines day lurking, do they pop their heads up to see if the dust has settled. If it has this leaves them with a clearer view of those problems that occurred over the festive season and that haven't been tackled. Obviously, we as family law solicitors only see people once they have decided that their relationship is over, or those who are on the brink of making that decision. Whether those people have taken steps to address issues between those 2 significant dates is not usually known to me, by the time that people step into my office they are past the stage of using reconciliation services.  From that point onwards the first step is usually a referral to a mediation service.

I hope this year to see more information in the media about those options, what positive steps those people can and perhaps should take to get help. I realise that doom and gloom sells papers but there really is no reliable statistical evidence available that confirms the doom and gloom that is peddled. I have checked with ONS website and whilst they produce excellent statistics on the divorce rate and other matters, they don't break these down on a month by month basis.

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