January is Most Popular Month for Divorce

As the New Year rolls in, many people look for ways to improve themselves and their relationships.  While some people do this by joining a gym or cutting back on caffeinated drinks, other people do it by divorcing their significant other.

In some legal circles, January is considered “Divorce Month”, and according to the website edivorcepapers.com, the first month of the year has the most legal breakups of any month in the year.  A new year brings with it the opportunity for a “fresh start”, but there are a handful of complimenting reasons that make January the most popular month for a divorce.

The holidays are over – Even though some couples know they will be pursuing a divorce in the near future, they may wait until the holidays are over to avoid confrontation or awkwardness among family members.  Also, if one party plans to pursue a divorce, they may decide to wait until after the holidays because their partner might decide to intentionally go overboard when it comes to buying gifts for themselves or their friends.

End-of-the-year Bonus – If one party files for divorce and a cut-off date is agreed upon, any income received after that point is considered separate.  Employers often tack on end-of-the-year bonuses to January checks, so a person may decide to file for divorce early in January in an attempt to keep their entire bonus.

Less Stress – The holidays can be a stressful time for some people, and facing the legal issues of a divorce would only add to the problem.  Also, there is a belief that if a person files for a divorce before the holidays, their partner may be less likely to settle on certain issues because they feel you ruined their holiday.

Tax Returns – Many divorcing couples said they wanted to start the new year with a clean slate, especially from a financial standpoint.  Although it doesn’t really matter when a couple decides to file for divorce, there is a common perception that it’s easier to reconcile your financial issues in the beginning of the year.  Filing for divorce in January also gives people enough time to figure out which information they need to gather before returns are due in April.

More Time to Plan – The holidays are usually reserved for some extra rest and relaxation, although some divorcing couples may use this time to gather all the necessary paperwork and financial statements associated with filing for divorce.  Couples then pursue a divorce in January once they have amassed all the right documents.

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 January is Most Popular Month for Divorce
Katie is a partner at Heimerl & Lammers, and heads the family law group at the firm. She represents clients in all areas of family law, from divorce mediations, to child custody disputes. Katie received her law degree from Hamline University. Katie lives in south Minneapolis with her husband and son. In her free time, she loves to cook and travel.
 January is Most Popular Month for Divorce

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