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Break-ups soar in unhappy new year
NEW Year, new you – and a new partner or divorce.
That is the sad case in Southampton where calls to a relationship counselling helpline have more than DOUBLED since the Christmas break.
And it’s proving to be the most lucrative time of year for divorce lawyers in the city who say demand has rocketed up to FIVE times the average amount.
After rowing over the holidays, entertaining the in-laws for days on end and possibly a fling at the office party, thousands of couples can no longer stand each other’s company.
While the festive period saw comedian Russell Brand file for divorce from his pop star wife Katy Perry and classical singer Katherine Jenkins and TV presenter Gethin Jones announce their split, in the Southampton area Relate Solent says there has been a 116 per cent increase in calls this month compared to the same period in December.
Some 2,670 people contacted the service during the first three working days of January compared to 1,231 in the same period in December – 20 per cent up on last year.
A r g u m e n t s, affairs and sex life problems are major issues causing relationship breakdown while stress and money are also factors.
A survey of callers revealed one in three said they had an awful or really awful Christmas this year. Two in five said they waited until after Christmas to tackle thier relationship problems and one in three said their breakdown was down to arguments.
Relate Solent manager Debbie Crescente said common reasons for fall-outs over Christmas were personality clashes and not agreeing on what to do.
She said: “We know that during these tough economic times families are under more pressure and this often leads to more arguments and break-ups.
“We’d urge couples to talk to each other as soon as they notice a problem and seek help.”
Meanwhile divorce solicitor Katy Barber, at Moore Blatch solicitors in Southampton, said in a normal week they may get four or five enquiries from people wanting a divorce but since the festive break it has been that many every day.
She said: “You always get an increase across the board this time of year. It is the strain of the Christmas period and with the new year people decide they want a fresh start.”
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