Family lawyers at Darlington law firm Latimer Hinks, are bracing themselves for a busier than average post-summer divorce peak as evidence indicates that rising inflation rates and the effects of the credit crunch are exacerbating tensions in already fragile relationships.
September is typically the second-busiest month of the year for divorce actions as vulnerable relationships crumble under the pressure of couples spending time together during the summer holidays. With the slow down in the economy and ever rising commodity prices hitting disposable incomes, the team at Latimer Hinks expect to receive an increase in divorce enquiries this year.
Judith Middleton, family law specialist and partner in Latimer Hinks said: "We normally witness a slow down in divorce cases in the lead in to the summer holidays. However, this year, that has just not happened and we remain as busy as ever. It seems that rising petrol, energy and food prices combined with a widespread shortage of credit are stretching couples to the limit. Sadly, many are separating as a result."
Post-summer holiday blues are witnessed each year by divorce lawyers up and down the country. Recent research* has shown that almost half of British couples rowed with their partner while on holiday, more than one in 10 couples have actually split up while abroad and one per cent of married couples have applied for a divorce after falling out on holiday.
Furthermore, the start of the new Autumn school term can prompt some couples to separate - those who had previously decided to stay together for the sake of their children. All of this has led to one relationship psychologist to identify August 30th as Britains most argumentative day.
Judith added: "Post-holiday depression, a disappointing holiday, financial strain and lack of sunshine all contribute to the high probability of a row. Couples who have been cooped up on holiday together could start regarding each other with growing contempt and feel the need for a bit of space. This often manifests itself in bickering and needless arguments.
"Couples find it easier to paper over the cracks in their relationship when levels of disposable income are high. The opposite is true when couples need to tighten their belts. Financial worries are a major source of conflict and this, combined with an unhappy summer holiday, can lead many couples to separation and divorce. Regardless of the time of year, the advice remains the same: seek professional help to unravel complicated financial and emotional issues and, if at all possible, reach an amicable settlement."