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Why do divorce rates increase after the holidays?

On Behalf of | Jan 1, 2024 | Firm News

Attorneys who practice family law in courts across the United States see a major increase in divorce concerns after the beginning of a new year. After the holidays end, a large number of people begin seeking out the advice of lawyers to talk about the possibility of divorce.

Obviously, divorces occur all throughout the year, but the January spike in divorce filings and family law consultations is a well-known phenomenon in the United States. What prompts so many spouses to take legal action after the holidays?

Couples may intentionally wait to file until after the holidays

Many people discussing divorce with lawyers in January or filing court paperwork early in the new year made the decision in December or even earlier. However, they may have already bought holiday gifts or made travel plans for the entire family.

If they have young children, they may put off filing for divorce so that the children can enjoy the holidays and their vacation from school without the ominous cloud of parental divorce looming overhead. People frequently divorce in January because they do not want their choice to end the marriage to affect the holiday season.

The holidays can be a trigger

Plenty of things go wrong during the holidays. Some people get arrested for drunk driving. Others sneak out of family parties to meet up with their affair partners and get caught. In some cases, it just may be yet another year of thoughtless gifts or sole responsibility for holiday celebrations that make someone realize their marriage isn’t healthy. Some people look to the holidays at the end of the year as an opportunity for their spouse to make up for recent challenges in the relationship. When they fail to do so, people sometimes decide that divorce is the only way forward.

Individuals may want a healthier new year

Divorce can often take an entire year, sometimes longer, to finalize. People may choose to file in the earliest part of the year in hopes of ending the process before the year is over and starting the next year in a much better personal situation.

Someone who is considering divorce may need some time to prepare before they file or discuss the matter with their spouse. They may also need to learn about what to expect during the process. Discussing marital circumstances and personal concerns with an attorney can help someone determine whether filing for divorce after the holidays might be the right choice for them.