The beginning of the New Year proves to be a popular time for divorce. The holidays are over, the bills are in and many people have started (and already stopped) their New Year’s resolutions. James McLaren, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers shared, “We see a significant increase in people seeking out divorce advice and, ultimately, filing. The number of filings is one-third more than normal.”
So why is the beginning of the year such a favorite time for divorce?
The holidays are finally over- at least for a while. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, they all come rolling in, one after another. A divorce is hard. The holidays are stressful. Combine the two and you’re looking at a recipe for an expensive therapist’s bill. It can be hard to catch your breath, let alone find an attorney to file a legal order. Lack of time is one reason people aren’t filing before the New Year. There is also less court dates during this period due to courts having holiday closings. Another reason is, many people can’t bear the thought of disrupting the holiday traditions of the family. “We’re getting divorced. Pass the stuffing,” is not the best way to break it to the in-laws. Other people may be waiting to see if the “love” of the holidays makes things better. Maybe he will show me he cares. Maybe the holidays will cheer her up and make us happy again. Families are also wrapped up in making their kids’ holiday fantasies come true. They know things are going to change soon, but it can wait another couple of weeks. Let’s spend this last Christmas together as a family unit. Waiting until January to file for divorce or meet with a family lawyer gives a couple almost a full year to set up new holiday expectations and traditions for children. If a decision has already been made, it is common to tell the children after the holidays so it disrupts their lives as little as possible. New Year’s resolutions are another reason January divorce proceedings are popular. This is going to be the year of you. Maybe you can’t fathom spending another year with someone you no longer love the same way. Maybe you’re not in a healthy situation. New Year’s resolutions can give people the kick they need to make a change. Chances are if you aren’t happy the other person isn’t happy either. Though it can be heartbreaking, change can be good. The beginning of the year proves to be a popular time to rip off the Band-Aid. Lastly, financials are a reason for January divorces. Some people are ready to file their taxes as single. Even though the holiday bills are coming in, people might have a little extra windfall to cushion the divorce. For example, many employees get holiday bonuses, some money they can hold on to to pay a retainer fee or put a down payment on a new living space. No matter the time of year, it is never easy. Puhl and Berbarie understands the pain of divorce and is here to help you through the process. Call us if you are ready for a free consultation with a family attorney now or any time of year.