Is “Divorce Season” Real?
"Divorce season" is a term used within the legal services industry to describe a particular time of year when the rate of divorce filings significantly increases. Typically, this season begins in January and continues through early March. It's crucial to note that while the term 'Divorce Season' is used commonly in industry discussions, each individual's situation and timeline is unique and may not align with this seasonal pattern.
The Phenomenon of “Divorce Season”
Historical trends indeed confirm a surge in divorce filings in the month of January. This pattern, observed over several years, typically sees a dip in divorce filings during the holiday season - November and December - followed by a noticeable increase as the new year begins.
A study by the University of Washington found that divorce filings consistently begin to rise in January each year, a trend evident in most U.S states. Whether in at-fault or no-fault states, the trend of 'Divorce Season' appears to hold true. This data points towards the existence of the so-called 'Divorce Season,' commencing in January and peaking in March, providing a stark reminder that the new year often brings significant changes for many families.
Factors that Contribute to High Divorce Rates in January
While every relationship is unique, there are several factors that can potentially contribute to the surge in divorce rates in January, often creating a perfect storm that leads couples to make this challenging decision.
These factors include:
Post-Holiday Reflection: The holiday season often brings families together, leading to increased reflection on marital satisfaction and overall happiness. This introspection can prompt some individuals to make significant decisions about their personal lives as the new year begins.
Financial Stress: Holidays can exacerbate financial stress, which is one of the leading causes of disagreements in relationships. The financial strain of the holiday season can lead to heightened tensions and potentially push an already strained marriage to the breaking point.
Desire for a Fresh Start: The new year is traditionally viewed as a time for fresh starts and big changes. For those considering divorce, the symbol of a new beginning can be the push they need to proceed.
Delaying for Children: Parents often choose to wait until after the holidays to initiate divorce proceedings to avoid disrupting family traditions and celebrations for their children. Hence, filings increase once the holiday season is over.
Preparing Financially: Some couples may use the time leading up to January to prepare financially and legally for the divorce process, leading to an uptick in filings at the start of the new year.
Shocking Statistics on Divorce in January
A careful analysis of the divorce filings data reveals some surprising statistics about the prevalence of divorces in January. Market Watch shares that a poll of U.S. lawyers typically “see an increase in cases of 25% to 30% every year in January.”
Research presented by The Guardian further illustrates this, predicting that inquiries around divorce will increase by more than 300% during January. The Huffington Post UK identified the first Monday of the year as "Divorce Day," noting a significant uptick in inquiries related to divorce.
These statistics substantiate the phenomenon of 'Divorce Season,' highlighting January as a month of particular significance in the realm of marital separations.
Are You Considering Divorce?
As we tread into the waters of the so-called 'Divorce Season,' it's essential to know that professional support can be a lifeline during this tumultuous time. Engaging with experienced divorce attorneys can provide you with a clear understanding of your options and the potential implications of divorce. They can guide you through the legal complexities of property division, child custody, spousal support, and more. Furthermore, they can assist in negotiations, striving for a fair settlement that respects your interests while minimizing conflict.