As happy as the holiday season should be for all of us, divorce lawyers across the country find that there is a surge of new divorces filed immediately after the holidays and enter the new year expecting to be busy as history continues to support this idea.
Why do so many people file after the holidays?
Although some of the reasons might seem obvious, there are other reasons why divorce attorneys get busy once the holiday decorations start coming down.
January - The Busiest Month For New Divorces
In what has become a notable trend over many years, divorce lawyers spend the holiday season gearing up for January which is known to be their busiest time of year.
At many attorney’s offices, the phones start ringing as early as January 2nd with calls from people either looking to file a new divorce or with questions about doing so.
The pace usually picks up during those first few weeks once the kids have gone back to school and the holidays are a thing of the past.
The increased volume of new filings with family divorce lawyers sometimes lasts through the months of February and March as people finalize their decisions post-holiday and decide to start divorce proceedings.
Why Are So Many Divorces Filed After The Holidays?
There are a number of obvious and less obvious reasons why divorce lawyers are so busy with new divorce filings once the ball drops and the New Year begins:
- Maintaining the Holiday Spirit - In an effort to keep the holidays special, many people try their best to enjoy the time with loved ones without having such an emotional event looming over their heads at the same time.
- Staying Together For the Kids - Divorce attorneys find that parents with children will almost always wait until after the holidays since this is usually a happy and exciting time for kids.
- Hoping for the Best - Giving things one last chance in the hopes that the magic of the season helps is another common reason why people wait rather than starting divorce proceedings before or during the holidays.
- Holiday Stress Wins Over - When there is already enough stress from the holidays, many decide to wait until just afterward when things start calming down again.
- Tax Reasons - The ability to file as a married couple reflects the status of the marriage as of December 31st, another important reason why family divorce lawyers find couples wait until after January 1st to file.
- Less Time to Devote During the Holidays - From a personal and professional aspect, people are just busier during the holiday season as are the local courts according to family divorce lawyers which frequently end up seeing a rush of cases during the last month of the year even though the December work schedule is reduced to only about 3 weeks.
Plan Ahead When Filing A Divorce
The holidays are a busy time of year for many reasons, whether it is family gatherings and all the planning involved, end of year business dealings, or just combating the stress that seems to affect many people during this time.
It is also a unique time for divorce lawyers, who see many couples giving things a last-ditch effort before filing for divorce or simply waiting out the holiday chaos, then immediately looking to file in January.
Use the holiday time to rethink things again, consider if some counseling will help, and otherwise start negotiating the many important issues such as property division and custody agreements that are a part of divorce proceedings so things go smoothly when divorce paperwork is filed.