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Divorce Help | March 4, 2024

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Tis the Season. . . for Divorce? - Divorce Help

Tis the Season. . . for Divorce?
Brian Beltz

You read it right – there is actually a time of year when divorce is in the air. And it comes as no surprise that it’s the coldest of them all. Nicknamed “divorce month” among legal circles, January is the busiest time of year for divorce attorneys.

Couples who have been ruminating the idea of divorce throughout the year usually wait until after the holidays to make the phone call to the attorney. The holidays bring about a slew of emotions. Sumptuous feasts among family during Thanksgiving, hot apple cider by the Christmas tree in December and champagne-infused cocktail parties with friends once the New Year holiday hits can easily fog the mind and the memory.

While many spouses stay together through the holidays for the sake of the children, the most common reason couples stick it out until the end of the year is that they romanticize the holiday season. They have false expectations that the spirit of the holidays will spark what has been missing in the relationship, and will rekindle the dying flame of the marriage. They hope for a “Christmas miracle” that will put their union back on track.

While some couples finally come to accept that their marriages cannot be saved and are at peace with the inevitable outcome, others become disillusioned and escape the holidays with such detest that they are determined never to have to spend another Christmas or Thanksgiving together again – They can’t imagine one more year!

More marriages dissolve because of financial strife than for any other reason. Christmas is expensive, especially for couples who have children, and arguments over money matters are likely to come to a head during this season. On a similar financial note, some experts point to Christmas bonuses as the reason some spouses wait it out. Anything obtained after a divorce is considered separate property, so some husbands and wives want to put in those extra months to be sure they get a portion of what is legally entitled to them – their spouse’s bonus.

Some divorce attorneys name the New Year to be the culprit of divorce season, rather than religious holidays. They hear their clients tell them about their resolutions to be more happy, to create positive change for themselves, to embark on a fresh start and to reinvent their lives.

Divorce season is a widely discussed topic in the legal community, and many divorce lawyers believe they have it down to a science – they have even named a “divorce D-day.” After the dust of the holidays settles, many couples wait until after the kids go back to school to file. That way the stresses of being out of routine have passed and they can focus on their own lives and getting through the divorce without any extra baggage or headaches.

Once January 2 hits the divorce calls begin to pile up, and they skate on a gradual decline until about June 1 when vacation season begins. That marks the start of the slow period because couples often schedule last-ditch effort vacations in attempt to save their marriages. Another small spike in divorce calls occurs in late August and early September after the family vacations and improbable romantic retreats are over.

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