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What Time of Year Do Most Divorces Happen and Why?

When contemplating life’s various aspects, like graduations, birthdays, and holidays, one realizes there is hardly an opportune moment for divorce. Nevertheless, for many married couples, facing the unfortunate reality of divorce is inevitable, irrespective of the timing. Divorces and separations bring about emotional and messy situations for all parties involved. Numerous studies have yielded valuable information on divorce statistics, shedding light on the likelihood of divorce and uncovering the most common months for marital transitions. Our experts at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb have explored this question to the core.

Month for Divorce

The Number One Month for Divorce

January emerges as the most common month for divorce filings, marked by a surge in individuals seeking a fresh start as they usher in the New Year. This phenomenon is often observed as a desire to put an end to an unhappy marriage and embark on a new chapter. Those with children tend to postpone divorce proceedings during the winter holidays, holding onto hope for a last-minute shift in their partner’s behavior.

Research indicates that individuals start exploring divorce options online even before January, but the actual filing often waits until after the holiday season when attorneys are back in the office. Notably, the week spanning January 11 to 17 witnesses the most number of divorce filings annually. As the New Year unfolds, there is a remarkable 30% increase in divorce filings, with a peak observed on the Monday when children return to school after winter break. This surge in divorce filings maintains a steady ascent until March.

Reasons Why Divorce Rates Surge at the Start of the Year

As the new year starts, there is a notable uptick in searches for divorce-related information, mirroring the nationwide trend of increased divorce filings that peaks in March.

Divorce experts and researchers propose several plausible reasons for this surge in divorces at the start of the year:

  • Holiday stress: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, which are times intended for joy and time with loved ones, can become stress-laden for those in unhappy marriages. The strain of festivities, travel, and time away from work may prompt individuals to reevaluate their happiness at home, with the stress of the holidays serving as the tipping point for those already contemplating a break.
  • Holiday obligations: Some spouses may already be certain about seeking a divorce when the holidays arrive but choose to delay the process to avoid disrupting the season with paperwork and transitions. Whether driven by a desire to spend one last holiday with their children or simply to avoid adding another task to the Christmas season, obligations play a role in the timing of divorce filings.
  • Post-affair resolutions: The holiday season is often associated with higher rates of depression, increased financial strain, and a rise in infidelity. Spouses who have been unfaithful during this period may choose to file for divorce as the New Year begins, marking a decisive step toward ending their marriage.
  • Approaching tax season: As the new year brings about thoughts of renewal, it also signals the arrival of tax season. The stress of examining financial information from the previous year and the financial implications of filing taxes may lead some individuals to contemplate filing for divorce, envisioning a separate tax filing status for the following year.
  • New Year resolutions: With the close of another year and the promise of warmer weather on the horizon, spring becomes a natural time for individuals to seek a fresh start. Some may make resolutions to initiate a divorce process, choosing to file around January as they embark on a new chapter in their lives.

Age Groups With the Most Prevalent Divorce Rates

The age group between 25 and 39 contributes to 60% of all divorces. On average, couples are most prone to experience their initial divorce around the age of 30. Notably, those married for less than 10 years are statistically more inclined to go through divorce.

In the past three to four years, a noteworthy phenomenon known as “Grey Divorce” has gained prominence. This trend reflects an increasing number of older individuals opting for divorce, challenging the traditional notion that aging couples should endure unhappy marriages due to societal expectations. As Americans live longer, the stigma associated with ending a long-term marriage has diminished. The prevailing sentiment appears to be a rejection of outdated social constructs, with individuals realizing that waiting until they can no longer enjoy their remaining years is unnecessary.

Contact a Qualified San Bernardino Divorce Attorney Today

Are you contemplating divorce in the new year? Our skilled divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb are ready to guide you through the process. Get in touch with us today via 909-889-7111 to take the first step toward your freedom.

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