January 10, 2017: For many years, January was widely considered “Divorce Month” by divorce attorneys who experienced a dramatic uptick in business immediately following the holiday season.
But, according to a new analysis of divorce filings and searches for divorce-related information on the Internet, March is the true “Divorce Month.”
According to FindLaw.com, the No. 1 website for free consumer-focused legal information with more than 5.1 million visits per month, searches for “divorce” and related phrases such as “family law” and “child custody” jumped 50 percent – from just over 10,000 in December 2010 to nearly 16,000 in January 2011, and continued to surge through March. “Divorce” has been the No. 1 searched term on FindLaw.com since January 2010.
Along these same lines, in an article by Findlaw.com the analysis revealed that divorces spike in January, continue to rise and peak in late March.
“While they’ve been thinking about divorce for some time, and taking steps such as obtaining marital counseling to save their marriage, many men and women may put off their decision to file to avoid additional stress during the holiday season,” says Ohnstad, who has more than 30 years of experience. “Couples with children may want to have one last holiday season together as a family.”
For others, the stress of in-laws, money troubles and career challenges coupled with the pressures to “be happy” during the holidays leads some men and women to cheat on their spouses during this time.
A study on holiday depression noted that of those who cheat on their spouses, 56 percent of men and 42 percent of women do so during the holiday season, says leading marriage therapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D., author of Make Up, Don’t Break Up. These affairs may trigger post-New Year’s divorce filings by spouses who discover the affairs or by the cheating spouse who now wants to end the marriage.
Another reason that many people delay divorce until after the holidays is related to income taxes, adds Ohnstad. Your marital status as of December 31 determines whether you’ll file a joint or an individual return for the prior year.