Want to Divorce? Why Not in January, the Divorce Month?

According to several recent studies, it might be time to rename January to “Divorce Month” due to the noticeable jump in divorce filings and inquiries each year in that month. FindLaw and Westlaw worked together to study nationwide divorce rates between 2008 and 2011. The conclusion was a sudden rise of divorces in January, and a 50% increase in internet searches for phrases along the lines of “family law”, “divorce”, and “child custody”.

Why is January “Divorce Month”?

Marriages can fall into unhappy ruts any time of the year and for seemingly any reason, so why does January stand out as the month to start considering divorce? The primary reason seems to be the holiday season that comes just before it. Even close friends and family members can label a person as “heartless” if they file for divorce right before the holidays. This societal pressure to be happy when Old St. Nick is about influences many, perhaps subconsciously, to hold off on divorce until January.

Another influential reason for holding off until January is the looming tax season. Divorce isn’t as expensive as planning a wedding, but it can still be costly, especially if the divorce is considered complex or high-net worth. People expecting a hearty tax return can use that money towards the divorce process. On the other hand, it might be easier for everyone to divorce before the April tax deadline.

It is also interesting to note that although January is picking up the label “Divorce Month”, it is not actually the month that sees the most divorce filings. That honor goes to March. It would seem that people tend to start weighing their options seriously in January and, by the time they are ready to actually file or serve the divorce paperwork, two months has passed.

Take Action When Action is Necessary

In the end, the lesson of Divorce Month is hesitation serves no beneficial purpose. People who want to divorce will do so eventually. Waiting another few months only keeps them in an unhappy relationship longer than necessary.

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or maybe just legal separation, our Long Island family law attorneys can offer legal counsel backed by 100+ years of shared experience. We can guide you towards a decision that benefits you and keeps you as comfortable as possible during such a difficult, uncertain process. Contact us at your first opportunity to learn more about your rights and options.

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