We know January as a time for ringing in the New Year, having snowball fights, and checking out the clearance holiday sales. It is a chilly month, and apparently not only in terms of temperature. January is statistically the biggest month for official divorces. In fact, there are about one-third more filings during January and at least this much of an increase in consultations with a lawyer compared to other months. So is January really considered “divorce month”? Here are a few reasons that may explain why divorce lawyers are so busy at the beginning of the year.
New Year’s Resolutions: Around the world, people see January 1st as an opportunity to analyze their lives. It’s a time to change the things that no longer make you happy, and sometimes that means a spouse. If you decide in January to get a divorce, it’s likely that you’ve been thinking about it for quite some time but weren’t ready to make the decision.
For the Children: For families with kids, it’s difficult enough to announce that you’re getting divorced. That proves even harder when the holidays are involved. Many couples choose not to ruin the magic of the holidays with their bad news, forcing themselves through one last Christmas.
Holiday Stress: Even though it is supposed to be a happy time, it’s no secret that the holidays are tough. There’s a huge amount of pressure to buy the right gifts, put up extravagant decorations, and visit all the relatives you haven’t seen over the past year. All of the gift wrapping and traveling can add up to one or both spouses feeling tired and resentful. Also, problems that a couple is already having can be greatly magnified in these sorts of intensified family settings.
There’s Nothing Else Happening: This isn’t to say that you would get a divorce out of sheer boredom, but it is probably one of the least busy times of the year. There are no summer vacations, no back-to-school shopping trips, and no family gatherings to plan for. January affords the time to explore options and analyze finances, important aspects of any divorce.
No matter what the reason, January has consistently been the front-running month for divorces. While people are not necessarily plotting out the timeline of their divorce on a calendar, January seems to simply coincide with most folks’ schedules. There’s never a “good” time to get divorced, but the first month of the year sure seems to be the most popular one.