We’ve come to expect a lot of things from September. Things like dejected students trudging back to school, rapidly shortening days, chilly evenings with a hint of the winter to come, and…a dramatic spike in business for divorce lawyers? It’s true!
As reported by The Globe and Mail, divorce lawyers are finding that September rivals only January (with its excess of New Year’s Resolution-triggered divorces) when it comes to hearing from an influx of new clients looking to untie the knot.
“Because we all spent so many years in school, it’s a point in our lives when we’ve been conditioned that this is when we do something new,” Julia Cornish, a Halifax-based divorce lawyer told the Globe and Mail.
However, while that may explain some of the surge, there’s more to the story according to Greg Walen, a Saskatoon-based divorce lawyer. “People want to get moving [forward with their divorce],” Walen commented. “They’re back to work, they’re back from summer holidays and they’re back in town from the lake.”
Dinyar Marzban, a Vancouver-based divorce lawyer, thinks that children flocking away to college and university has something to do with the spike in his legal services. “Fall comes around and children go to school,” Marzban observed. “The category of people who rightly or wrongly hung in there for the children, maybe the last one’s gone away to university in September. There’s a fair amount of that, people waiting till the last kid’s out of the house.”
Marzban added that couples who fall into this category have typically experienced a “general dissatisfaction” with their marriage for years. “I don’t think people’s marriages break down [when the children leave for school]. It’s just that they start phoning lawyers then.”
At the same time, there are apparently other – one might say markedly ordinary – reasons why couples wait until after the summer ends before they move ahead with their divorce. For instance, there’s the nice weather and vacation plans.
“It’s not a lot of fun spending a beautiful summer day in your lawyer’s office,” Julia Cornish noted. And when it comes to vacation plans, she adds, "Do you want to spring [divorce] on your partner before you go on the two-week holiday you’ve planned and saved for?”
And then there’s the whole other matter of trying to get everyone in the same room at the same time.
“It’s frustrating if you are trying to get things done, only to hear that your spouse is on vacation for the next two weeks, and then their lawyer’s on vacation for the next couple of weeks and then your lawyer’s on vacation,” Cornish reflected. “Typically courts have a much quieter schedule in the summer as well.”
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