January, a time for resolutions and a fresh start. For some, that fresh start may begin with filing for divorce. For years, January has unofficially been dubbed “Divorce Month.” This is because January is the month when most divorces are filed with the courts. A report from 2016 from the University of Washington examined data about divorce filings over a span of 14 years. From 2001-2015, researchers noted a consistent rise in divorce proceedings beginning in January. US lawyers have reported seeing an increase in cases of 25% to 30% every year in January. According to Psychology Today, it may be because the holidays are over or that people want a fresh start at the New Year.
Sometimes, couples who have been planning to divorce choose to wait until after the holiday season in order to avoid disrupting their families and ruining their holidays. Some couples want just one last holiday season together before they go their separate ways and don’t want to be the one to ruin the holidays.
Of course, a divorce is less traumatic and sometimes easier if no young children are involved, but for those who do have younger children, breaking the news of a divorce during the holidays will for sure put a grey cloud over their Christmas tree and not even Santa himself can spread enough cheer to make up for that one.
A lot of couples try and find the “perfect time” for a divorce and most of those couples feel the perfect moment is after the holidays have passed. However, the truth is, there may never be a perfect moment, but no one wants to break the news that they’re filing for divorce while decorating a gingerbread house.
Not everyone sticks to their New Year’s Resolutions. For some, getting their personal lives in order is a resolution they want to stick to, even if that means ending an unhealthy marriage. The holiday season definitely raises stress levels, and many feel the stressors of the holidays combined with the stressors within their marriage is one too many. Sometimes people just reach their limit when those stressors are combined. Others may get swept up in the romantic and joyous facade of the pretty lights and mistletoe that they believe their unhappy marriage can really change. But once their clock strikes midnight on January 1st, they come back to reality and file those papers.