Legal Blog

Why January Is Known As Divorce Month

folded hands of a couple working on divorce papersOriginally posted 1/22/2020, content updated 1/3/2024.

It’s a new year—a time to shed old habits, leave behind sources of unhappiness, and embrace new experiences. This means different things to different people. Many resolve to lose weight. Others choose to give up smoking or eat healthier or travel more.

But for some of us, starting the new year means making an even bigger change. Perhaps it’s no surprise that this time of year is when struggling couples frequently decide to file for divorce.

Yes, believe it or not, one of the most popular times to end a marriage is after the holidays. In fact, attorneys often call January “Divorce Month.” Google searches for terms such as “divorce” and “divorce lawyer” spike around the new year. Anecdotally, I can confirm that right now is when our offices tend to receive higher-than-usual rates of calls from clients who are either looking to file for divorce or whose spouses have started the conversation.

The trend continues into March, as preparing to end a marriage can take several weeks, and many people deliberate over the decision. Indeed, it’s fair to think of divorce as a seasonal phenomenon, much like tax season or back-to-school season.

Why do so many couples decide to call it quits in the first months of the year? There are numerous reasons, both practical and emotional in nature.

People who have made up their minds often decide to wait until after the holiday season so as not to derail a restful time… or create additional chaos during an already stressful time. For others, the experience of spending the holidays together sparks the decision to file for divorce.

On the practical side, many couples choose to initiate divorce proceedings in January for tax reasons. Starting the process in the new year may streamline paperwork and potentially improve one’s status at filing time.

Sometimes, it’s simply a gut feeling—the right moment for a new beginning.

Whatever the reason for it, divorce is rarely easy. To get started in your new life as quickly and painlessly as possible, talk to a family law attorney. A lawyer like the ones at Offit Kurman will help you say goodbye to your old life and hello to the new experiences to come.


professional headshot of principal attorney, Sandra Brooks | 240.507.1716

As a family law attorney, Sandra (Sandy) Brooks’ practice focuses on a wide range of aspects in regards to family law. She dedicates her time to assisting clients in domestic law matters including divorce, child custody and visitation, family mediation, spousal and child support, property division, and division of retirement benefits. Other matters that fall under her jurisdiction as a family law attorney include tax consequences of divorce, mediation, prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements, negotiating and drafting of separation agreements, domestic litigation, and post-judgment proceedings.