Approaching Divorce in the New Year

A recent news story out of the UK suggests that tensions running high during holiday arguments lead to rising divorce rates comes January. Across the pond and here in the US, January is often dubbed “Divorce Month” due to the high number of people who seek out divorce attorneys in the first month of the New Year. This moniker is backed up with published statistics from and is a very real trend.

The spike in divorce is often correlated to a particularly stressful holiday season, or an impending separation that can’t take the added pressure of the holidays, but one UK divorce lawyer isn’t so quick as to chalk up the increase to holiday stress. Fiona Turner, a family law attorney out of Manchester, tells Manchester Evening News that while January may be a busy time for divorce lawyers, “it is a myth that everyone who comes to see us has made a sudden decision to split over the Christmas holidays.”  It may be simply a coincidence, with the decision to divorce being the culmination of much thought and discussion. Yet, there is no arguing that the New Year is often looked at as a new beginning. So, it seems understandable that it is often seen in this light by couples approaching divorce.

Yet, despite the very real correlation between divorce and the month of January, one should never be quick to treat this phenomenon as an annual epidemic. Each divorce is different, and each couple’s situation is unique. While January may see the most divorce activity, this doesn’t lessen the significance of the divorce rate experienced in any other month.  A “Divorce Month” does provide solidarity to those experiencing it at the same time, but the unfortunate truth is that divorce is a widespread happening that is experienced broadly on a daily basis throughout the year.

One problem with a “Divorce Month” is that it could theoretically lead to a bandwagon affect.  People in difficult relationships may feel a push to solidify their separation in January because of the large amount of couples who split after the holidays.

At the end of the day, divorce is not a decision that should be arrived at lightly, or with much regard to a calendar. It is a very personal decision between two people, and one that should be made after much consideration – regardless of the time of year.

If you are considering divorce, contact the compassionate and experienced family law and divorce attorneys at Fields and Dennis, LLP. We know that divorce can be an emotional and difficult time, whether in January or June, and we are here to help.  While the New Year is a fresh start on paper, we believe that a fresh start is available whenever you need it. Call us for a confidential consultation today.