After holiday season comes annual divorce rush
CanWest News Service
And for divorce
lawyers, it means bracing for January and a deluge of calls from
married folk who have made it through Christmas and New Year -- but
just can't take it anymore.
By 11 a.m. on
Monday, Jan. 7, the day family lawyer Leonard Levencrown returned
from his holidays, he had received two cold calls -- both requesting
In the first few
days of 2008,
said many couples contemplating separation won't do it over the
holidays. "The calls start to come afterward," said the 34-year
veteran of family law. He says he sees the same surge in September
after the summer holidays are over. "If they have a cottage, they
wait until the kids are back to school before they do it," he said.
"It's basically a cycle."
Divorces are on
the rise across the country and in the national capital region,
where 66,440 people defined themselves as divorced in the 2001
census. By 2006, that number jumped to 75,550 divorced people.
Other cities of
similar size have seen comparable increases in the number of
divorced residents -- in
Mary Jane Binks, a
partner with Gowlings, says she always gets more calls this time of
year."I find Christmas is often a defining moment for a marriage,"
Ms. Binks said. She said she gets divorce-request calls around other
defining moments -- even the wedding anniversary.
vacations and Christmas couples are thrown together, willingly or
otherwise, and have to endure not only each other, but also each
other's relatives. They might be able to live quite separate lives
much of the time, but holidays and vacations change that.
"In periods where
people have to have quite a bit of time with their partner, that can
often be the straw that breaks the back of the marriage," Ms. Binks
said. "Maybe it's the dismal proposition of another year with