'Tis the Season for Divorce?

woman in a holiday sweater holding a present You might be surprised to find out that December through January is one of the most popular times of year for divorces, with January being the most popular month of the year according to many attorneys.

Why are divorces so common as the new year kicks off? There are a few main reasons.

Unrealized Expectations

Many couples go into the holidays with expectations of how the holidays should feel. They imagine sitting by their fireplace with their spouse, happily watching the kids unwrap presents. They imagine feelings of warmth, happiness, and togetherness. When the holidays arrive and things aren’t as merry as they’d imagined, people begin to wonder if they’re with the right person, or they decide that they definitely aren’t.

Holiday Stress

‘Tis the season to be jolly, but ‘tis also the season for mounting stress. For many families, finances become tight around the holidays as they pay for gifts for their children and loved ones, causing marital tension. There’s also the issue of family gatherings; couples can suffer stress from trying to coordinate large gatherings of out-of-town family, hosting family in their homes, or even having to travel themselves for the holidays. If a marriage is already compromised or strained, having family around can often open old wounds and bring issues to the surface. After the stress of the holidays, some couples are pushed to call it quits.

The “New Year’s Resolution” Mindset

Even though the new year is an arbitrary date, many of us think of it as a time for starting fresh, for getting rid of the old and ushering in the new. Especially when coupled with marital challenges like holiday stress or unmet expectations, individuals approaching the new year in unfulfilling marriages may see divorce as part of the renewal and fresh start they hope to find.

While the holidays can be a challenging time for couples already suffering from unhappiness in their marriages, it can also be a time for couples to come to the realization that what may be best for their mental health and for each other is to part ways.

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