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November 2013 - A “stressful, lonely” Christmas?




A new poll of the UK’s ‘Christmas stress factors’ finds that people in the South East, particularly divorced or separated couples, are bracing themselves for a stressful festive season. According to the research more than a quarter (28%) in the region say they’re not looking forward to Christmas, rising to more than one in three (35%) for people who are divorced or separated.

The new data, published today (25 November) – exactly one month before Christmas – assesses a range of festive stress factors and finds that making family arrangements, a fear of loneliness and deciding where to spend Christmas are all causing “significant” concerns for many families in the South East region, “particularly divorced couples” according to experts.

The survey of adults in the region, based on a ComRes poll for Resolution - the body representing 6,500 family law professionals in England and Wales - finds that:

-          45% say they “find the Christmas season very stressful”, rising to 50% for divorced people.

-          29% say they just want the Christmas season to be over “as quickly as possible”, rising to 36% for divorced people.

-          16% say they feel “particularly lonely” at Christmas, which rises to 20% for divorced people.

-          43% of all people who responded said that they “find making arrangements during the Christmas season is stressful”, rising to 48% for divorced people.


Rob Parker, a specialist family solicitor at Phillips in Basingstoke and chair of the North Hants Collaborative Family Lawyers Group said: “Many aspects of the festive season cause acute stress for families in the South East but it is significant that particularly divorced or separated couples find the Christmas season stressful. We also know that the festive season can put a real stress on relationships. For those couples who are going through a separation, it can often be made significantly less stressful and more financially manageable by exploring all the options that are available.”

He added, “The research also found that many people are unaware of their options when they are going through a break-up. Whilst for some couples court is unavoidable, for many more there are alternatives such as family mediation, family arbitration and the collaborative process. Resolution members are committed to helping couples going through break-ups to do so in the least stressful way possible, in order to help make future Christmases easier for both children and adults.”

The polling was commissioned as part of Family Dispute Resolution Week (Nov 25th – 30th 2013) during which Resolution is launching a new advice guide, providing more information about the options available for couples going through separation or divorce. This guide can be downloaded at:

More details about the North Hants Collaborative Family Lawyers Group can be found at: