Why Do People Divorce in January?
There are several factors that could explain divorce rate spikes in the new year and especially in the month of January. Jeremy Sutton recently reviewed some these factors, including:
• People see January 1 as an opportunity to analyze their lives and change what no longer makes them happy. Sometimes that’s their spouse or partner
• Finances are often called the biggest challenge to a relationship or marriage. Money is always a common factor – especially at Christmas, when pockets are emptied and tensions run high
• Unsatisfactory relationships can drift along during the year, but any unhappiness is highlighted when couples spend a lot of time together over the Christmas break
• It’s sad but true that for some couples having limited time together keeps them together, and being in close proximity 24/7 over Christmas/New Year is the last straw
We examined the data behind this phenomenon last year.
Is It Your New Year’s Resolution to Get a Divorce?
January is the prime time of year for couples to initiate divorce, based on the number of court-filed applications; divorce filings begin to spike in January, and peak in February and March. January is when divorce lawyers report seeing a spike in consultations from disgruntled husbands and wives, who at least want to do some information-gathering, by exploring the various financial and child-related repercussions that a formal separation or divorce would entail.
Apparently, those in troubled partnerships will try to keep the status quo throughout the holidays – especially if children are involved – only to formally separate or embark on marital counselling once the festivities are over. The reason for this timing is largely (shall we say) “sentimental”: People don’t want to initiate divorce proceedings immediately before, or during, the holidays. They may not want to put a pall over what is ideally supposed to be a family oriented, idyllic season of the year. Or, they may want to delay so that the family can have one final holiday together, before they split.
For others – especially those individuals who have already started to secretly contemplate divorce, or for those embattled couples who have begun to discuss the prospect between themselves – the “fresh start” quality of New Year, and the tradition of making resolutions, may prompt unhappy partners to re-evaluate their future and finally make the break they have been contemplating.