New Year’s resolutions are typically about making ourselves, and our lives, better. People resolve to get in shape, get organized, travel to new places and otherwise renew their commitment to being happy. Perhaps it is unsurprising, then, that so many people ring in the New Year by filing for divorce. The increase is so pronounced, some refer to the first Monday in January as “Divorce Day.” But the truth is the New Year’s resolution tradition is just one of the reasons why January sees so many divorces.
A Very Merry Divorce
The January surge in divorces may be more about the wrong time to file for divorce than the right time. Relatively few people choose to file for divorce during the holiday season. Parents may endeavor to give their children one last “normal” holiday season before breaking the news. Couples without children or with older children may just want to avoid the spectacle of discussing their marital woes with extended family. The result of all these couples putting off divorce for the holidays means a busy time for divorce once the holidays are over.
Stress as a Trigger
The holidays may also represent the last straw in a stressed marriage. Few things can drive a person from unhappily married to actively seeking a divorce like the pressure and stress of the holidays. Common stressors like money woes and struggles with drugs and alcohol are often worse during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. A person who feels unappreciated in a marriage is likely to feel that most acutely this time of year.
All that said, the start of a new year is a natural time to consider a new beginning. If your marriage isn’t working, it may be time to take action. Getting in shape or learning a new language will certainly change your life, but if your marriage is unsatisfying, happiness will remain elusive. A divorce can give you the fresh start you need to get your life back on the happiness track.
For all these reasons and more, January marks the beginning of divorce season. From Divorce Monday through early March, around 30% more people than average will file for divorce. That could mean resolving issues over division of assets, child custody and child support, spousal maintenance (alimony) and other family law issues. In Texas, and elsewhere around the country, people will work with their family law attorneys to get through the divorce process in the best possible position. It’s a goal worth your time and attention.