The holiday season can be stressful, especially when your marriage isn’t in a good place. It also falls right before a noteworthy annual spike in divorce filings.
Every year, divorce attorneys and the family courts see a significant spike in consultations and divorce filings right after the holiday season. January is one of the peak times of year for people to initiate a divorce. There are numerous reasons why the holidays seem like a trigger for modern divorces.
The holiday season strains already struggling relationships
Many couples fight about money, and the holidays only worsen household financial strain. Just under one in three households in the United States will go into debt to pay for holiday gifts, meals and travel. Those households that accrue debt borrow, on average, $1,381 for the holidays, more often than not on credit cards.
There is also the possibility of traveling to see in-laws and the disagreements that come from mandatory celebrations with extended family. The stressors of the holidays can absolutely increase someone’s desire to file for divorce.
Worrying about other people may lead to a January filing
Many people who filed for divorce in January don’t do so because of a miserable holiday season. Instead, they likely struggled their way through the holiday season without bringing up the divorce. Often, those who consult with an attorney or file for divorce in January began thinking about divorce months ago, possibly even before the kids went back to school.
However, between school obligations and the holidays, those with children or major holiday traditions made put off filing so that their divorce doesn’t affect other people’s enjoyment of the holiday season.
Tax concerns can motivate a January filing
Filing your taxes with your ex isn’t fun, and the later in the year that you file for divorce, the more likely it is you may have to carry things over into the following year, with possible tax complications. Filing for divorce early in the year and this is the likelihood of another joint tax return.
If you find yourself desperately trying to make it through the holidays without telling your spouse, your kids or your parents that you want a divorce, you are absolutely not alone. Learning more about the divorce process can help you feel empowered when you decide you want to divorce and when you feel like it is appropriate to file.