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In our most recent post in the holiday series blog, we looked at the importance of following COVID-19 rules. This week, we examine some of the reasons why people tend to file for divorce soon after the holiday season, and why we expect the post-holiday divorce rate might surge even higher than usual this year.

Divorce month

There is a reason January has been dubbed “Divorce Month.” Every year after the holiday season, there is an uptick in people who flock to lawyers’ offices to discuss separating from their spouse. What is it about this time of year that leads to this increase in breakups? And what can we expect for couples teetering on the brink of divorce this year, when the second wave of the pandemic is in full swing?

Reasons why unhappy spouses delay the inevitable

There are many good reasons why couples may decide to put off getting divorced until the new year. Here are some of the most common explanations people tend to give:

  • Ideally, no one wants to get divorced during the holidays. It is a time of togetherness and celebration. If a couple has children, they may be especially resistant to split before the end of the year so that their family can celebrate one last holiday season together as a single unit.
  • Spouses who have children also want their children to experience the holidays as a joyful and wonderous time. As a result, they may delay announcing a divorce to minimize the risk that their children will come to associate the holiday season with sadness and pain.
  • The holidays are a stressful time for everyone, even if children are not in the picture. For instance, spouses must negotiate which traditions to incorporate into their celebrations and how much time to take off to recharge. The pandemic presents even more opportunity for conflict this year, as there are new issues couples may not see eye to eye on, like whether it is safe to see family indoors under any circumstances.
  • This is the time of year when many people reflect on the changes they would like to make in their lives going forward. Partners who are already struggling to maintain a happy marriage may look at the new year as an opportunity to end unhealthy relationships and get a fresh start.
  • Given that people have been spending more time together since COVID-19 hit, even the strongest of relationships have been tested in unprecedented ways. Trying to navigate through the holiday season as a happy, cohesive unit may shine a light on an already strained, if not broken, partnership.
  • Alternatively, some people may get swept up in the magic of the holiday season and start to believe that they can repair their fractured relationship. However, once the reality of the new year sets in, old problems begin to reappear and couples may decide to finally split for good.

Connect With Us

This can be a difficult month at the best of times. This year, the pandemic has made January even more challenging. If you’re considering filing for divorce now that the holiday season is over, know that you are not alone.

At Gelman & Associates, we understand that this is an uncertain and stressful time. We remain open to help our clients, but are taking precautions to keep safety paramount. We provide compassionate, forward-thinking guidance to our clients, and our goal is to always empower clients to make informed decisions about their future. To help you maintain positive mental health during a difficult period, we also offer our clients a free consultation with a psychological professional.

In order to be available to clients and prospective clients, our phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Call us at 1-844-769-0737, or contact us online if you have a family law matter you need help with.