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Londoners braced for stressful Christmas

A new poll of the UK’s ‘Christmas stress factors’ finds that Londoners, particularly divorced or separated couples, are bracing themselves for a stressful festive season. According to the research 39% say they find Christmas “very stressful” rising to 51% for divorced couples.

The new data, published today (25 Nov) – 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 London “particularly divorced couples” according to experts.

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

  • Over a quarter of Londoners (26%) say they’re not looking forward to the Christmas season, rising to 32% for divorced people.
  • More than one in three Londoners (36%) say they “just want the Christmas season to be over as quickly as possible” rising to 46% for divorced people.
  • Loneliness is a problem for many Londoners. 23% say that they “feel particularly lonely during the Christmas season” (the highest of any region in the UK), rising to 30% for divorced people.
  • One in four (39%) of Londoners say that they “find making arrangements during the Christmas season is stressful”, rising to 47% for divorced people.
  • Almost a third (31%) of Londoners say that it is “hard for me to decide where to spend Christmas festivities” which rises to 39% for divorced people.

Michelle Uppal, Mediator & Collaborative Lawyer Miles & Partners  spokesperson for Resolution in London said: “Many aspects of the festive season cause acute stress for families in London 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.

She added, “Our 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. Click here to download Resolution’s guide on divorce or separation.

For further information please email Michelle Uppal at

  • Resolution is a group of over 6,500 family lawyers and professionals in England and Wales. It promotes a non-confrontational, constructive approach to resolving family disputes. To find out more, visit
  • ComRes interviewed 4,061 GB adults online between the 16 and 20 October 2013. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full data tables are available at

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

Michelle Uppal, Miles & Partners Solicitors, London

Michelle Uppal

Mediator and Solicitor | Head of the matrimonial department

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