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January: highest month for divorce filings in the U.S.

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2023 | Divorce

January brings with it a curious phenomenon in the United States—a notable surge in divorce filings. While the reasons are multifaceted, studies have attributed this trend to various factors that make the first month of the year a popular time for married couples to part ways.

Reasons for the surge in divorce filings

There are many reasons behind this trend, including:

  • Married couples on the brink of divorce are finally deciding to file.
  • Married couples are waiting until after the holidays to respect their family traditions.
  • The symbolism that comes with the beginning of a new year.

During the holidays, society often projects an image of perfect families coming together to share in the joyful celebrations. However, we know that there is no such thing as perfection, though many people try very hard to strive to achieve what they believe is an attainable standard.

In such cases, married couples may become disappointed when they realize that what they imagined would be their future is not what they experience. Instead, they may experience holidays filled with stress, anxiety, financial strain, and feelings of inadequacy.

While society is certainly to blame for the message it sends, unfortunately, many married couples fall for that and marry for the wrong reasons, sometimes expecting a fairy tale after the wedding or perfect children. However, when reality hits, everyone realizes that real life is far from a fairy tale.

New year, new chapter

January is a month when people often reflect on what they did in the past year and what they want in the future. In these reflections, many married individuals realize and confront their realities, acknowledging that what they are living is not what they wanted or even thought they would have and choosing to take the bold step of opting for a life that is in line with their personal goals and one that is more authentic and real.

Emotional readiness

Married couples who have been contemplating divorce might finally see this new year as the time to go through with it. It is not a simple decision, which is why many married couples take months, if not years, to reach a point of emotional readiness.

Divorce is difficult, especially when children are involved, and it requires careful consideration of many factors, including not only the well-being of each partner but also the family unit and what is best for everyone involved.

The January divorce trend is a confluence of emotional, symbolic, and practical factors. The combination of the above factors contributes to making January a popular month for divorce in the United States, and attorneys across the country see this spike shortly after the new year.