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Why Do People Think January Is ‘Divorce Month’?

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With January comes the dead of winter, when temperatures for any particular area in the northern hemisphere typically reach their coldest. Many people also believe that with January comes a greater likelihood of marital collapse as marriages that were seemingly “just on the rocks” – or even perfectly fine – days or weeks prior officially and suddenly fall apart.

Unofficially acknowledged as “Divorce Month” in some circles, January holds a reputation for being a catalyst month when it comes to couples splitting up – but why? Divorce is complex and unique in any given case, so there is no one overarching answer. Here, though, we’ll try to provide some explanations that can help you understand why January is assigned this reputation. Should you be experiencing divorce during this time, we also hope to help you understand why this may be occurring now of all times.

The New Year Brings Contemplation about Life

One of the most common reasons why January may see a spike in divorce filings is because it’s the time when people think most about what they want to change in their lives. Typical New Year’s resolutions involve eating better or exercising more. For someone who has felt like their marriage isn’t working out as they had hoped, though, a goal for the New Year may be to seek divorce. As with any relatively less serious resolution, the commitment to this goal is probably at its strongest in January.

The Holidays Are Over

When it comes to deciding to divorce in January, the holidays may have played a role – and not always the one you might think. There’s a lot of pressure for people to “make it through” the holidays as contentedly as possible, even if it means putting a hold on more serious concerns about the overall stability of their relationships. The reason behind it can make sense even if the logic doesn’t quite pan out: People want to associate the holidays with happiness and togetherness – especially when children are involved – so they may be inclined to wait a month or two before initiating divorce.

Another reason the holidays may play a role is that people use them as a test to determine whether or not they really want to end their marriages. If someone who feels conflicted about divorce happily makes it through the holidays, they may feel inclined to work on resolvable matters with their spouse. In the opposite case, someone may view an unhappy holiday season with their spouse as the last sign they need that they should exit the marriage as soon as possible.

Lastly, the holidays are simply a busy time overall. Work may be overwhelming as companies try to end Q4 with record-breaking numbers, children have must-attend recitals before going on break for a few weeks, and family celebrations and gatherings “must go on.” For many, adding divorce into that mix is simply more trouble than it’s worth for the time being.

Financial Realities Come to a Head

Because January comes on the heels of the holidays, it’s likely that a lot of unusual spending has occurred. While this alone may not be enough to break the camel’s back, the reality of someone’s overall financial position while married to their spouse might sink in with new bills to pay. If someone believes they could have a more prosperous or stable financial life without their spouse in the picture, they may decide within the first few months of the New Year to initiate a separation or divorce.

Are You Challenged by Divorce Right Now?

If you are seeking legal representation to protect your rights and interests in a divorce, turn to Claery & Hammond, LLP for help. There are many firms and lawyers out there who can help, but we stand out among our peers as experienced and dedicated legal professionals for our clients.

The attorneys at Claery & Hammond, LLP offer a collaborative approach with personalized care and clear communication for those who trust us to handle their divorce. If January has brought concerns for you regarding child custody, child support, property division, spousal support, or another matter involving divorce, we can help!

Get a free consultation when you reach out to us for assistance. Get in touch by submitting an online contact form or by calling (310) 817-6904 today!
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