Is January Really Divorce Month?

January 4, 2022
divorce month

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nation had a marriage rate of 6.1 per 1,000 people in 2019. The divorce rate was 2.7 per 1,000 people. Fortunately, that gives marriage a significant edge over divorce. However, the numbers suggest about four in 10 of those marriages will end in divorce. This time of year, divorce filings might even increase.

January is known as “divorce month,” and the general notion is that many people wait until a new year is underway to announce the end of their marriage. There are many reasons why divorces increase at the beginning of the new year.

Researchers at the University of Washington recently studied 14 years’ worth of divorce filings. December has the fewest divorce filings, with slightly more than 2.8 divorces per 1,000 people. However, the rate rises fast with nearly three divorces per 1,000 in January. April through July sees declining numbers of average filings, with another spike in occurring in August. August sees only slightly fewer annual divorce filings than March. Then, the numbers drop steadily through December’s low.

Why Do Divorce Filings Increase at the Beginning of the Year?

The timing of divorce filings suggests couples are reluctant to end their marriages during traditional family holidays. November is the only other month with a divorce rate of no more than 2.9. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day are the least likely to be impacted by divorce filings. However, the filing rates generally rise quickly after those holidays end.

The sharp uptick in divorce filings from December to January generally is attributed to couples following through on traditional family commitments. Instead of creating tension in the household and among children by announcing a divorce prior to the holiday season, many couples find it better to wait until after New Year’s Day. A January divorce gives everyone more time to process the situation. The next big family holiday is months away.

Tax implications also could prove beneficial for a January divorce filing. Instead of doing a mid-year divorce that could take several months to conclude, a January filing gives divorcing couples all year to conclude the divorce. There is little chance that the divorce would take more than a year to conclude. A January divorce filing likely would impact a single year of tax filings instead of two.

What Should I Do if I Plan to Divorce?

Ending a marriage can be extremely difficult. Fortunately, you can find legal assistance to make the process easier. An experienced lawyer can help take care of the legal aspects and streamline the process. The less legal stress that is involved in the divorce, the lower the emotional toll will be on you.

Delaware County Divorce Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Can Help You With Your Divorce in the New Year

Our Delaware County divorce lawyers at Eckell Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help you with your divorce if you decide to file in the new year. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation today. We are located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, and we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.