January is quickly turning out to be the most popular month of the year to get a divorce, becoming known as “divorce month” in family law circles. January sees approximately 33 percent more divorce filings than other months. The January spike usually begins during the first full working week following Christmas, and spills over into the months of February and early March. Lawyers and interested parties are wondering, why January? What are the reasons behind this pattern? Obviously the holiday season plays a role, but let’s take a look at some of the other motivating factors at work here.
- As previously mentioned, the holiday season and the increased stress levels sometimes associated with it can be a major factor magnifying marital issues. It is easy for couples to reach a tipping point with the added stress of the holidays, and they can often see the New Year as a chance to start fresh with a clean break.
- Couples with young children, as well as individuals determined to give it “one last chance”, will often wait until the end of the holiday season before disrupting their families with divorce announcement. People often feel their family deserves a worry-free Christmas, and will hold off on announcing and deciding on a divorce until after the holidays have passed.
- Because of so many court employees taking vacation time, court dates can often be in short supply during the month of December. Many couples decide to wait until the new year when things are “back to normal”.
- When filing for divorce, it can often be beneficial to wait until the new year for tax purposes. If the couple waits until the new year, they can still file jointly for the previous year’s taxes.
Similar spikes in divorce rates during the month of January into February and March are being observed in the U.K. The legal firm Irwin Mitchell released a recent survey stating the 1 in 5 couples plan to divorce immediately after the holidays. While these reasonings ring true, we can only speculate on the many varied causes for the “divorce month” spike pattern we’ve observed thus far.
One other interesting trend to observe is the increase in online dating activity during these very same months. Match.com reports a registration jump of almost 40 percent for the months December through February! This may be good news for divorce rates across the U.S., as according to a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, around one-third of American marriages now begin by the couple meeting online, and these relationships are less likely to end in divorce than couples that meet by more traditional means.
How to Contact an Experienced North Jersey Family Law Firm
Regardless of the timing, divorce is a stressful, difficult process. Your future, and that of your family’s is at stake. For that reason, it is extremely important that you have experienced, smart, and dedicated legal counsel to fight for your rights during the divorce process.
The Family Law practice at Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark is built upon the premise that by leveraging the resources of a large firm and maintaining the personalized approach of a small one, we can provide exceptional legal representation while developing supportive, sustainable client relationships. Listening to your unique needs and priorities, we move forward with your interests in mind and zealously advocate on your behalf to achieve a desirable resolution tailored for your future.
If you are considering a divorce, or are in the process of divorcing, contact us online today or through our Hackensack NJ offices at 201-397-1750.