January is the start of a new year. People often set intentions for the next 12 months and spend some time reflecting on their personal victories or tragedies from the prior year. Many people start off the year enthusiastically aspiring to get healthier, pay off their debt or otherwise improve their personal circumstances.
For a surprisingly large group of people, January might also be when they file for divorce or sit down to consult with a divorce attorney. This trend has persisted for years, leading to some people calling January “divorce month.”
Why does interest in divorce tend to spike at the beginning of the year?
People often wait until after the holidays to act
One of the reasons that divorce filings and consultations surge in January is an aversion to negatively affecting holiday celebrations. Many people know well before January rolls around that they want to end their marriages.
However, they do not act on that intention until after the holiday season. Particularly when there are children in the family or travel plans for the holidays, people may not want to alter the tone of celebrations by announcing their divorce right before the holidays. Many people put off filing for divorce for months out of deference to family members or existing holiday plans.
People may desire a brighter future for the year ahead
A review of both the recent holiday season and the last year can leave people with the clear impression that their marriages do not truly serve their needs. Unhealthy and unproductive marital relationships can damage people’s finances and social relationships.
Individuals who notice a trend in which their spouse diminishes their quality of life instead of enhancing it may decide to file for divorce in January because they want a better future. They may also hope to complete the divorce filing process before the end of the current year to eliminate future complications related to income tax returns.
People can consult with an attorney and file for divorce at any point once they realize that their marriage does not enhance their life but rather damages their happiness and health. Scheduling a consultation with an attorney – in January or any other time – may benefit those who have come to realize that their marriage does not serve their best interests.