T’is the season to be jolly! Well, not quite, if you are a divorce lawyer!


It is a well-known fact that there is a sharp spike in the number of new divorce clients immediately after the Christmas and New Year period. Disastrous Christmas lunches and New Year’s resolutions, to make a fresh start, are usually the predominant reasons.

Without wishing to be all doom and gloom as we fast approach Christmas, I thought I’d reminisce and share some strange examples of unreasonable behaviour clients have told me about, over the festive period.

I once had a client who told me that he was fed up of having Iceland chicken nuggets and frozen chips on Christmas Day just because he’d once told his wife that her gravy was too thin and her sprouts soggy. He wanted to start the divorce process before Christmas because he couldn’t face yet another Christmas Day watching his wife tuck into her turkey and trimmings whilst he looked on in envy. The same gentleman complained that his wife was 10 years behind with the ironing and that there was no point in doing it any more as nothing fitted him. Apparently, he claimed that her cooking skills were so bad that he was half the size of man than when he’d married her 10 years previous. He also complained that she wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box and that if her IQ was any lower, he’d have to water her! To say he was a tad chauvinistic would be something of an understatement!

His list of examples of unreasonable behaviour did not end there. Apparently, his wife would rather lie on the couch than sweep underneath it. She hadn’t bought him a Christmas present for years and she’d always beat him to eating his chocolates out of the Advent calendar every single day. I remember asking him why he didn’t hide his Advent calendar and he responded that he had run out of hiding places as his wife was like a sniffer dog! He was a right charmer, I must say!

Another divorcee told me that her husband’s flatulence became so unbearable around the Christmas period that she couldn’t bear to face any more embarrassment in future years. With family over from abroad, she sat at the table in awkward silence whilst her husband made colossal reverberations in the adjacent downstairs loo. Upon returning to the table, he mortified her further by breaking the silence, laughing, ‘better out, than in’.

One 90-year-old client wanted to surprise her husband with a divorce for Christmas – after 70 years of marriage! When I asked her why she chosen to wait so long, she replied, saying that the time was right, now that the children were dead.

Another client’s husband had a serious drink problem and in his stupor stumbled into his neighbour’s house by mistake, gatecrashing their Christmas lunch. He refused to leave. The police were called. Before they arrived he used their bathroom but felt asleep, having locked the door. When the police managed to unlock it he was found semi-naked, comatose, in an empty bath. This incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back for this particular client and she was first across the threshold when my office reopened in the New Year.

Too much partying and drinking at Christmas often ends in disaster and can be the root of all evil. One client was horrified to find a leg missing off her uncooked turkey as she went to place it in the oven to cook only one Christmas morning. Thinking that the family cat was the culprit she was horrified to find her drunken husband asleep at the dining table with a raw, half chewed, turkey leg laying on his chest. That families’ Christmas was spoilt, as the repenting husband suffered serious sickness as a result. The wife had little sympathy for him and his drunken indiscretions and she promptly filed for divorce.

Mother-in-law’s are often the cause of marital strife. Mine has been coming round for Christmas for 20 years running. This year, we’re having a change. We’re going to let her in.

Merry Christmas to you all!

PS the mother-in-law comment, was a joke!

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