September is peak divorce season, and there are lots of reasons for that. But what about you – does this year mark ‘Separation September’ for you? Maybe you’re seriously considering embarking on divorce this September. Maybe you’re in the thick of things already. Wherever you’re at on your divorce journey, in this blog we’ll explore what Separation September means to you, and how you can navigate it.
Why is September so busy in the divorce courts?
Traditionally, January has held the title of ‘divorce month’, with the weeks after Christmas holidays seeing a boom in divorce applications. However, it looks like September’s giving January a run for its money. In 2020, divorce applications at the end of September were double the usual daily average.
And why is this? There’s not been any in-depth sociological research, but, from supporting clients over the years, I have a few ideas:
The summer holiday throws routines out
July and August often see routines go by the wayside. If you have school children, the holidays turn everything upside down. And if you don’t, quite often there’s a knock on effect with other people being on holiday, evening classes stopping and people making the most of good weather. Workplaces slow down as people are out of the office. Plus the longer, hot days tend to encourage us to operate a little differently.
Changes in routine can bring many things. For some, it offers a welcome, necessary insight into where they’ve got stuck into tired, outmoded grooves. They start to see cracks in their marriage more clearly. There’s a space for contemplation and wondering how life could have been, or could be in the future. Does that inevitably lead to divorce? Of course not. Ideally it leads to a productive conversation with your spouse – which may in turn lead to a healthier marriage. But it certainly brings to the fore anything that’s out of kilter.
You spend more time together
Many people have their main holiday over the summer months. This means you’re spending more time in each other’s company – which can be a joy and a blessing as a couple if you get on. But what if the opposite is true? What if you’ve been limping along in your marriage and being thrust into each other’s company 24/7 highlights just how much you irritate each other?
Again, this realisation isn’t a sign divorce is inevitably on the cards. But it is a sign to act: to address the issues in your marriage. And for some, the healthiest way to address them is with separation. And for many, it makes sense to start that paperwork ‘once life has settled down to normal again’: i.e. in September.
You spend more money
One of the most testing issues for any marriage is finances. How much money you have, what you spend it on and who gets to decide. Again, summer, just like Christmas, has a way of bringing these issues front and centre. With children off school and needing entertainment, the costs can rack up. And that piles on the pressure.
As with the other summer strains – it’s how you deal with it that matters. Working together to budget and jointly agree priorities can strengthen your marriage. But if your relationship is struggling, money issues can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
September is a ‘new year’
For many of us, September is an ideal time to instigate life changes – whether that’s signing up for a new evening class, joining a gym or putting in your divorce application. Unlike January, we’re not in the darkest, coldest time of the year. Students and school children are embarking on new adventures. Autumn brings the winds of change – and it’s catching. The three months between September and Christmas is an ideal block to develop a skill, work on a project, and get things done after the lack of routine of the hot summer months.
What’s your story?
So, what about you? Do any of those scenarios ring true for you? Or is there something else that’s on your mind as we hit September?
Maybe you’re already in the thick of things and September is more of a continuation than a new start. For you, September can be a time to settle into a new rhythm – to stop letting things drag on and instead make real progress on your divorce before Christmas.
Maybe you’re not set on divorce – but you know something’s not right with your life, with your marriage. And you want to understand why, and fix things if you can.
Or maybe this is another September you’ve felt restless, like you know there’s more to life, and to love. You’ve put it off, but in your heart you know divorce is the best course of action. You don’t want to let another year slip through your fingers.
Wherever you’re at, be kind to yourself. Kindness means forgiving yourself – for past mistakes, for not acting sooner, for whatever it is you are torturing yourself with. And, importantly, kindness means not carrying on with things that aren’t serving you well: whether that’s your thought patterns, your routines or your marriage.
Let me help you get your answers
I am running a FREE challenge from 12-14 September to help you uncover your own answers this September.
I believe that divorcing like a CEO is the best way forward – CEO’s make informed decisions that they spend time reflecting on. They have vision, strategy and a sense of purpose. And you can for your divorce too.
This isn’t about pushing you to divorce if it’s not the right decision for you (I am a big believer in healthy marriage!). And, if divorce is the way you’re going, it’s not about telling you what choices to make. Every relationship and set of circumstances is different.
It is about:
- Helping you work out how to TAME™ your divorce so you make good decisions for yourself – the TAME™ method will also give you the skills to work on your marriage if you choose to.
- Sharing the important information about how the divorce process works in all areas: your marriage, your children and your money.
- Learning why a divorce plan is so important and the skills you need to implement a good plan
When you’re immersed in the confusion and heartache of separation, or the decision to separate, you don’t need someone giving you all the answers. This is something only you can do, your way.
But you definitely need help with the right questions and the right strategy. And that’s what this challenge will help you with. You’ll have the right questions to ask yourself, so you can trust whatever decisions to make next. I break it down for you so you get that clarity you need.
- A 30 minute group zoom with me each day of the challenge
- Workbooks to take you through things step by step
- Me on hand to answer any questions
- A Masterclass on Monday 19th September bringing it all together with details of how you can continue your journey
If you want to really make progress this September, whether it’s about deciding to divorce, making it happen or getting over the final hurdles, you need to be part of this!
Emma Heptonstall, the Divorce Alchemist is the author of the Amazon best-selling book How to be a Lady Who Leaves, the Ultimate Guide to Getting Divorce Ready. A former lawyer, Emma is a family mediator and founder of Get Divorce Ready the online self-study and group programmes. Emma has been featured on BBC Radio, The Telegraph, the iPaper and in Marie Claire Magazine. Emma is also the host of The Six Minute Divorce Podcast. To find out more visit www.emmaheptonstall.com