Trends in recent years have given January the less-than-endearing nickname “Divorce Month”, with January seeing more divorce inquiries than at any other time in the year. Others refer to January as the beginning of “Divorce Season”, as people are beginning to consider their options and divorce rates remain higher beginning in January and through March. Either way, there is a definite surge that occurs in January in the number of people seeking divorce advice and ultimately filing.
What are the reasons for this trend? Consider some of the factors that may contribute to January having become “Divorce Month”:
Couples hold it together for the holidays:
- Generally if one is making a divorce inquiry in January, they made the decision to do so before the holidays. Many times couples will choose to hold off proceeding with divorce until after the holidays to avoid making it unpleasant for children or other family members. This means January is prime time to announce and pursue divorce plans, once holiday festivities have completed.
- In other cases, the stress and pressure of the holidays may be just enough to push struggling spouses over the edge. Holiday stress has the tendency to magnify and even exacerbate existing problems.
A fresh start in the New Year:
- As one year ends and another begins, people are commonly reflecting on their lives and relationships and creating resolutions for the new year. It is a time for new beginnings and fresh starts. People who are unhappy in their marriages frequently use this time to decide to make significant changes. In some cases this may mean committing to doing things differently in the marriage, beginning couples counseling, etc. However, it is also common that unhappy spouses are ready for a blank slate. They may decide that their resolution for the new year is to remove themselves from an unhappy or dysfunctional marriage, leading to increased divorce inquiries and filings.
- For some couples, choosing to file for divorce in January is a calculated financial decision. They may want to avoid interference with joint tax filings from the previous year, to maintain the tax benefits of filing jointly one last time. There may be other strategic economic reasons to wait until the start of the new year to file, depending on the couple's unique situation.
There is never a “good time” for divorce
Despite trends, the reality is that divorce is prevalent every month and there is never a “good time”. Divorce is mentally, emotionally, and financially draining. For most couples, the most optimal time to pursue divorce is when they know they have exhausted all options in making things work. It is a uniquely personal decision. Each couple and each individual within the couple needs to make their own determination about what is best for their psychological being.
Divorce is complicated even when it's not complicated. Dissolving a union that was meant to be forever is challenging and painful, and you should not try to tackle it alone. Contact an experienced family law attorney to represent and advise you appropriately. Our family law attorneys at Dellino Law Group are highly skilled and experienced in managing divorces on all parts of the conflict spectrum, from more simple dissolutions to very high conflict divorces. Our attorneys are well-versed in the sensitive nature of this topic area. We are prepared to help you navigate the process, offer sound legal advice and counsel, and ultimately reach a resolution. Please contact us for a consultation.