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Why Is January Divorce Season?

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on December 31, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A new year is an opportunity to turn over a new leaf. There is something satisfying about the notion of a clean slate, even if January 1 is just a date. This is the time when we resolve to move on, and leave bad habits behind, which for some includes marriage.

Yes, as we toast to new possibilities on the first of January, many will be contemplating more than the end of a year. January is divorce season. Let's look at five reasons why divorce attorneys consider this the winter boom in business.

June Weddings and January Divorces

1. Holidays: As noted, people resolve to divorce on New Year's Eve. Maybe the last Christmas dinner with the family was the last gathering they could stand or maybe they planned to just get through one more holiday season before divorce. The months ahead of the holidays are stressful and busy and, during that time, some come to question their lives. Hence, the New Year's divorce resolutions.

2. Taxes: People tend to get divorced in January for practical reasons, like taxes. Because we report our financial lives to the government on annual basis, beginning in January, it makes sense from an organizational standpoint to start new arrangements in a new year. For the sake of simpler paperwork, some wait to January to move out of a spouse's house.

3. Bonuses: Depending on the state, a spouse may be entitled to half of the money earned as a bonus prior to separation. Bonuses are often distributed at the end of the year or after January 1, meaning they appear on the subsequent year's taxes. The savvy spouse hangs around to get half of that.

4. Thinking of the Children: It is considered easier on children to initiate divorce proceedings after a holiday season, allowing them one last hoorah and plenty of time to prepare for the changes in the next holiday season.

5. Hope Is Alive: Although it is winter, hope is not hibernating. The indomitable human spirit believes in the possibility of new things and every spring we see evidence. For many, January is just a good time to start the hard work of starting over in the hope that love will bloom again.

Get a Lawyer

If you are considering divorce, in January or any other month, consult with an attorney. Counsel can explain your options and help guide your decisions.

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