You may have heard the hype. January is “divorce month,” according to some family law attorneys. Sure, it’s cold and the days are short, but is it really a month that ends marriages?
Yes and no. There is some evidence that people do file for divorce more often in January. If you think about it, it makes sense. People usually think about their decision to divorce for a while before they file. They may come to the decision just after the kids’ summer ends, for example, but put off having a confrontation with their spouse.
Then the holidays arrive. You don’t want to upset the kids, right? You don’t want them to associate the holidays with the end of their parents’ marriage. You don’t want to spoil their fun, either.
This might go on for a while, but perhaps not forever. If you wait until March, you might be in for an awkward Valentine’s Day, where you know the marriage is over but your spouse does not.
No, January makes a lot of sense. Whether it’s really fair to call it “divorce month” is still open to interpretation.
The New York Times recently examined the issue and found some truth in the old saw. It’s clear that people to avoid divorce during the winter holiday season. Divorce filings are usually lower during November and December, but they bounce back in January.
The Times looked at Google Trends to determine whether more people search the internet for divorce information and attorneys during January. They found that there is indeed a slight uptick in interest between about Jan. 6 through 12, but again, people tend to avoid the subject over the holidays.
Google Trends also reveals that, between 2016 and 2018, the most popular time for divorce searches varied. In 2016, the most popular month for such searches was September. In 2017, it was January. In 2018, it was March.
There was a study done in 2016 by the University of Washington to see if divorce filings peak in January. Looking at filings from that state between 2001 and 2015, the study found that filings peaked in March and August. Those times may coincide with the end of family vacations, too.
If you’re considering divorce this January, you’re not alone. It’s a time for new resolutions and fresh starts, isn’t it?