The Truth Behind “Divorce Month”

We often hear it in polite chatter: “Have you heard? So and so are getting a divorce! Oh, well you know, it is that time of the year again.” Phrases like these are normally passed around at social and familial gathering throughout the year, but there is one time of the year where they pop the most, the winter holiday season.

We’ve all been there: traveling back to our hometowns, seeing our old friends, and breaking bread with our close, yet somehow distant, relatives over the span of Thanksgiving through the New Year. Single people get hounded with questions about why they aren’t married, newlyweds get bulldozed with questions about why they don’t have children yet, and seasoned veterans to marriage get peppered with questions as to when the second baby is coming, or why a new house hasn’t been purchased yet.

However, amongst the nosy, highly inquisitive family members are the salacious gossips of the family. Those who report back with details of other absent family members and why they aren’t at the various holiday gatherings. A big topic of continual gossip? Divorce. Many consider the holiday season to be the precursor to divorce season. You are required to remain in close proximity to your spouse for months on end while simultaneously attending a myriad of social gatherings that both parties would probably rather not attend. More couples fight during this time of the year due to trivial issues such as gift giving and general holiday cheer.

Then the new year comes, and couples no longer have to put on a brave face for their families. They did their job: they maintained the illusion of marital bliss through the holidays and kept the façade of their true feelings hidden in order to maintain the status quo and not disrupt family gatherings. But now, after the holidays have concluded, these same couples fall back into the monotony of their day to day lives/ Some find that their marriages are lacking a certain spark, or they just simply hate each other, and decide they want to call it quits.

Thus, as the holiday season concludes, divorce season begins, or does it? Many people refer to January as “divorce month”, but statistically speaking, it doesn’t even crack the top three months of the year where family lawyers report seeing the highest amounts of new cases.

According to a 2016 study conducted by the University of Washington, the peak months where people file for divorce are in March and August, following winter and summer holidays/vacations. So, while January would be a very good guess, it would be an incorrect one.

David K. Wilkinson, a founding partner of Wilkinson and Finkbeiner Law Firm in San Diego, stated that, “too much time with family can often trigger someone waking up and realizing, ‘this is not what I want for the rest of my life.’ You’ll see an uptick in filings after Valentine’s Day and around August, when children have had summer off and before school starts.”

When discussing divorce and the month of January, Wilkinson opines that people start calling lawyers for initial consultations after the holidays but, “that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll file at that time.” Wilkinson continues to say that the idea that people may be considering divorce in January, “supports the notion that March is actually a busier month for filing. You have to start getting information and it could take weeks to prepare a filing.”

So, as we start to head into the Holiday Season, some may continue to see the upcoming holidays as a time to reassess their relationships and whether divorce is right for them. However, there are others who will use this time to be closer with family and loved ones, and perhaps pick up ideas of divorce closer to March. Whether you’re ready to file in January, March, or any other month of the year, there are professionals here to help you every step of the way and make “divorce season” a little less daunting.

At Argyris Mah, LLP we are always happy to help you through the divorce process (and try to make it a little easier on you) whether you are ready to file or just want some questions answered. Contact our office at 408-564-5674 or info@argyrismah.com for a free consultation.

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