Divorce Day: Co-op expects 146% surge in family law enquiries

08 January 2018

Co-op Legal Services is preparing for a busy time of year as the firm anticipates a 146%¹ surge in family law enquiries in the first three months of 2018, according to new business data released today by the national family law provider.

Each year, more than 100,000 divorces are granted², and as relationships that turn to ice over the winter months are likely to head towards divorce now that the festive season is over, enquiries are expected to rise sharply this month, with a second peak in March.

The divorce rush seen at the start of the year is often considered to be down to people wanting a fresh start after a difficult festive season. However, data released by Co-op in its loneliness report ‘Trapped in a Bubble’ reveals that a split is a common trigger for loneliness. The business, which has partnered with the British Red Cross since 2015 to tackle loneliness, found that as many as 33%³ of people who are divorced or recently separated saying they always or often feel lonely.

New research by Co-op has found that loneliness is often felt at a time when people are experiencing a transition in terms of their social connections – something that often comes with divorce when interactions that had been taken for granted are no longer there. The study also found that divorce can lead to a loss of knowledge and skills, with responsibilities having to be taken on that used to lie with a partner.

Tracey Moloney, Head of Family Law at Co-op Legal Services, says:

“We know that divorce can be a difficult and heart-wrenching time for families and lives can be turned upside down. Couples have often already considered divorcing for a number of months but they then hold off announcing their plans until after the festive period, mainly to avoid upset among family members. We receive the highest number of enquiries in March after couples have discussed their plans in January.

“We do see a number of divorce enquiries coming in the early hours of the morning, as people want to feel like they are moving things on. Divorce isn’t something to be entered into lightly, but once a couple has made up their mind up their mind to get a divorce, we can begin to offer them the advice and legal support they need, at a time to suit them.”

Co-op Legal Services’ tips on managing 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. Be sure: Make sure there is no resolution before considering a divorce. If nobody is at fault in the marriage you will need to have lived separately for a considerable length of time, in order for a divorce to be granted
  3. 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
  4. Judicial Separation is an alternative to divorce and is not so common. The most significant difference between divorce and Judicial Separation is that you cannot remarry
  5. 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

If you’re suffering from loneliness you can call the British Red Cross for support on 0344 871 11 11 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm).

A divorce through Co-op Legal Services costs from £600 including VAT plus £550 court fees. For more information visit: https://www.co-oplegalservices.co.uk/

Ends

Media Contacts

Alexandra Wilson
Press and Media Relations Manager
Email: Alexandra.wilson1@coop.co.uk
Mobile: 07540 641368

Sarah Pyatt
Press Officer
Email: sarah.pyatt@coop.co.uk
Mobile: 07850 002 312

Notes to editors

¹Co-op Legal Services Data based on enquiries in Q4 2016 vs Q1 2017.
²ONS - number of divorces in 2016 (107,071)
³Taken from Trapped in a Bubble – An investigation into triggers for loneliness in the UK. Kantar Republic, December 2016. Independent research undertaken for the Co-op and British Red Cross

About the Co-op

The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives and has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 employees and an annual turnover of over £9 billion.

Home to the UK’s leading funeral provider, Co-op Funeralcare conducts almost 100,000 funerals annually across over 1,000 funeral homes. Combined with its leading legal services business, the Co-op is also a national provider of later life products and services ranging from funeral plans, through to wills and probate.