Why is Divorce More Common During the Start of the Year?

Because divorce in the United States is conducted within 50 different state family court systems involving nearly two million spouses a year, it can be difficult to track reliable statistics regarding the issues and steps leading up to the start of a divorce action, much less a consultation with a divorce lawyer. This is especially the case when the majority of states allow for “no fault” divorces which do not require either spouse to present a specific “reason” for the divorce, such as infidelity or abandonment. That said, what has become clear in recent years is that there a significant increase in the amount of divorce actions and online searches for legal information related to divorce at the start, leading some to dub January “Divorce Month” while others apply that title to March. Again, scientific data for why this is the case is incomplete, but divorce attorneys see plenty of anecdotal evidence for why spouses considering divorce seek out their consultation and take steps to pursue divorce in the early months of the year.

The Holidays Can Be the “Final Straw” for Many Couples

Whether a married couple is trying to keep it together for the benefit of family and friends during holiday get-togethers or functions, or hoping that the holidays will bring about new experiences that will breathe new life into their marriage, oftentimes the end of the holiday season can mean the end of attempts to save a marriage. One partner could have been waiting for the end of the holiday season to spring their thoughts about the state of the marriage, or an unhappy holiday season could have brought a couple’s irreconcilable differences to light. Either way, more spouses take the steps to seek out a divorce in January than in December.

Financial Realities Set in at the Start of a New Year

For many spouses, the start of the new year is a time in which they can assess their financial standing individually and as a couple prior to beginning the divorce process. Many people receive large year-end bonuses which can impact the money at stake in the divorce or their ability to walk away from the marriage, and the end of the year can also involve significant spending or understanding of financial obligations such as a tax liability which can impact a couple’s decision to split. Note that while many misconceptions are out there regarding how such financial matters are handled in a divorce, these issues nonetheless lead to early-year divorce actions.

A New Year Can Mean a New Start for Unhappy Spouses

In the same way that a new year can mean a decision to join a gym, lose weight, read more, go back to school, volunteer more, or any other life decision meant to improve one’s life and well-being, a person’s marriage can have one of the biggest impacts on their happiness and well-being and so it is not surprising that taking steps to determine whether a divorce might improve a person’s life is common at the start of the year.

Experienced Virginia Divorce Attorneys

At Kurylo Gold & Josey, PLC in Fredericksburg, Virginia, we will guide through all your questions regarding your divorce, and help you work towards a favorable outcome in your family law matter. To schedule a consultation with one of our Virginia family law attorneys, contact Select Law Partners, PLC at 540.642.1766.

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Matt Kurylo

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