January, a month synonymous with new beginnings and resolutions, ironically earns another title in the United States—“divorce month.” It might sound surprising, but the reasons behind this phenomenon are as complex as putting up holiday decorations in the middle of a snowstorm.
End of the holiday season
Many couples who are planning to divorce choose to delay filing until after the holiday season is over. Especially in families where children are involved, parents often want their children to have a sense of normalcy during the holiday season and they do not want to burden them with the news during this time.
Reflection and resolutions
The beginning of a new year naturally prompts individuals to reflect on the past year and think about their goals and what they want in the future. Many people make New Year’s resolutions like becoming more fit and healthy, going back to school for another degree, or aiming for a promotion at work.
This time of reflection also prompts married people to question and evaluate the state of their marriage. Seeing other couples at holiday events, for example, may trigger feelings of sadness and the realization that their marriage is not working, for one reason or another.
Post-holiday reality check
Married individuals who are already unhappy in their marriages, whether they are or are not considering divorce, may finally realize how bad their situation is after experiencing a heightened sense of joy and happiness because of the season. Once reality hits, however, the contrast between the idealized holiday season and the return to normal routine can be stark.
In essence, “divorce month” is a genuine phenomenon, and family law offices witness a significant increase in clients wanting to file for divorce. It is important to keep that in mind if you are planning to divorce, because divorce attorneys can get very busy during January and law firms can only take on so many clients at once.