New Year’s resolve: January’s uptick in divorce filings

Last updated on April 8, 2021

Reportedly, say many commentators, January reigns supreme over all other months of the year for divorce filings.

“January really does see a lot of divorces,” says one family law consultant.

Is that really true? According to a number of diverse sources, it is. Statistics compiled by one online divorce-related company say that more people divorce during January than in any other month. There is evidence that online searches regarding divorce and page views of divorce-related information skyrocket immediately following Christmas.

What makes January so special in this regard?

Actually, say some pundits, anyone interested in knowing need look no further than the children. Most divorces in January involve families with kids, and a prevalent view as to why that is posits that most families are simply loath to begin a divorce process during the winter holidays.

The holidays, notes the founder of an online divorce website, “are supposed to be a magical time.”

January is about resolutions and fresh starts, and an unhappy couple knowing that their once-happy and strong marriage is irretrievable often acts with resolve as the new year unfolds.

Tax status, too, can play a role, with the IRS determining a person’s filing status by what that status was on December 31 of the preceding year.

Family law practitioners, counselors and other interested parties note that there is obviously not a single optimal time for divorcing, since the characteristics and features of every divorce are clearly unique.

As noted by the founder of a website stressing post-divorce life and matters, “Couples have to weigh the costs and benefits of divorce year-round.”

Source; Huffington Post, “January: More divorces than any other month?” Meghan Beresford, Jan. 10, 2012

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