January: The Divorce Month

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Jonathan Coombs

January is beginning to gain traction as the most notorious month for divorce. More accurately, it’s the month where spouses start researching their options, as well as beginning the divorce process.

Statistics on FindLaw.com show a spike in divorces in January between 2008 and 2011, followed by a rise and peak in late March. The site also shows that searches for “divorce” and phrases like “family law” and “child custody” jump 50% from December to January, and continue at that rate through March.

One of the reasons that this takes place at the beginning of the new year is because holiday season has just ended. “People don’t want to be accused by friends, family that they were heartless right before Christmas,” said Miles Mason, a Memphis-based family and divorce lawyer. The holiday season typically means people are happier, and don’t want to ruin the jolly season with the getting into divorce.

End of the year also means bonus season, which means more money that could be lost in a divorce. Holding off until January also will not interfere with tax filings for the previous year.

Lastly, the new year makes people rethink their lives, and they feel as though they are in the same spot and begin to feel scared. These feelings lead people to make drastic decisions, and rethink who should be in their lives. The smart thing to do is not let these crazy thoughts dictate whether or not you decide to leave someone you dedicated spending the rest of your life with.