There’s probably no good time for a divorce, but January seems to be the preference for a lot of couples. In fact, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says that January sees about one-third more new divorce filings than normal. Google reported in 2019 that searches about divorce peaked during the second weekend in January.
People don’t suddenly wake up on New Year’s Day and decide they’re unhappily married, so why do so many “pull the trigger” and seek a divorce in January?
Why people may wait until January to break up
While every marriage is different, there are some common themes behind the January rush to divorce. They include:
- They want to give their spouse one last happy holiday season together (or, at a minimum, not wanting to ruin the season by seeking a divorce at the end of the year).
- Parents may not want to disrupt the children’s holiday and make them associate this time of the year with their parents’ break-up.
- That temporary feeling of goodwill and the alternate reality of the holiday season fools them into thinking that they can make their marriage work — until reality catches up.
- They don’t want to be newly separated during the holidays (which would force them to make explanations to family and friends while their emotions are still strong).
- They have tax issues and other financial concerns, especially if they’re worried about paying for the holidays while paying for a divorce.
- The annual New Year’s tradition of setting goals may make some people reflect harder on where they are — and where they’re rather be.
So, should you wait until January to seek a divorce? Maybe. You’re the only person who can answer that question. If you’re already considering it, you may want to learn more about how the process works and what rights and protections you’re due.