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The Post-Holiday Spike in Divorce Rates: Fact or Fiction?

Every year, as the holiday season wraps up and we usher in a new year, something curious happens. Family law courts and divorce attorneys brace themselves for an influx of divorce filings. In fact, this phenomenon is so well-documented that January has earned the rather grim moniker of "Divorce Month" 1.


But why does this happen? Let's delve into the reasons behind this trend and understand the factors contributing to the post-holiday spike in divorce rates.


The Holiday Lull


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During the holidays, from the Jewish New Year in September through New Year's Day, divorce rates typically decrease 2. This lull can be attributed to several factors. Couples often visit family over the holidays, and a significant change such as a divorce could upend everyone's plans 3. Additionally, there's often a desire to maintain a sense of normalcy during this time, particularly for families with children.


Emotional Stress and Expectations

Holidays like Christmas, New Year's, and Valentine's Day are accompanied by high expectations of happiness and unity. However, when reality falls short, it can lead to disappointment and conflict 4. Studies have shown that divorce rates can rise by one-third after the holidays 5, suggesting that the emotional stress and heightened expectations can exacerbate existing marital issues.


The Post-Holiday Reality Check

Once the holiday season comes to an end, couples may take stock of their relationship. If the holidays have been particularly stressful or if longstanding issues have become more pronounced, couples might decide that it's time to part ways. As a result, divorce filings tend to spike just after the holiday season 6.




The New Year Effect

The onset of a new year often prompts individuals to reassess their lives and make significant changes. If a marriage has been unhappy for some time, the turn of a new year can provide the impetus needed to seek a fresh start, contributing to the increase in divorce filings 7.


In conclusion, while the holiday season is often associated with joy and celebration, it can also be a period of intense stress for couples experiencing marital difficulties. The combination of emotional stress, heightened expectations, and the desire for a fresh start in the new year can lead to a notable spike in divorce rates immediately after the holidays.


At Divorce is Simple, we believe in treating divorce not as a battle to be won but as a transition to be navigated with grace and dignity. We're here to support you every step of the way, from deciding on property division to finding emotional closure. With our comprehensive family law mediation services, we aim to make your divorce journey as simple and stress-free as possible.





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