Family Law News Edinburgh

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Relationship breakdown peak expected in January

The English support organisation Family Lives is anticipating a surge in demand for its services from families going through separation or divorce, as the organisation’s new Divorce & Separation report highlights that couples are more likely to separate in January.


Analysis of divorce-related calls to the Family Lives’ helpline in the period April 2010-September 2011 has revealed a steady stream of calls about divorce/separation in January. Calls about divorce affecting children during January range at 16% on average, compared to an average of 14.6% throughout April 2010- September 2011.

During this time period, Family Lives received 60,069 calls to its Helpline. Of these calls, 9,012 were about divorce affecting adults and 8,657 revolved around children going through their parents’/carer’s divorce/separation.

The new report shows that:


  • 52% of separated - or in the process of splitting up - parents are unable to reach general agreement about moving forward,
  • recently divorced adults are more likely to feel lonely (7% compared to 2% of all long calls), and
  • 23% of calls revolved around parental responsibilities during or after divorce/separation.


The report also found that:


  • callers are more likely to be fathers or non-resident fathers,
  • adults going through divorce issues are shown to be more likely to mention anger issues, conflict with ex-partners and feelings of isolation, and
  • for children facing a divorce/separation, calls are more likely to show increased levels of stress and confusion.


Jeremy Todd, Family Lives Chief Executive said:

“The fall-out from the pressures of the festive period can often culminate in couples deciding to separate.  Every year, Family Lives receives thousands of calls to its free confidential helpline, from separated parents struggling to make contact with their children or make relations with a former partner work. It is important that parents are supported to find a way of communicating and working together for the sake of their children.”

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