January is a time for New Year’s resolutions and, while not on the same level as losing weight or changing jobs, breaking up was very popular — so much so that it is referred to in legal circles as Divorce Month and January 8 is highlighted as Divorce Day.
That is the day most people return to work — and many don’t want to return home.
Anecdotally, other reasons include family fights over Christmas and couples forced to spend significant time together over the holidays after a year of rushing around and working.
Whatever the reason, the number of breakups spikes by about 30 per cent in January, while the number of couples seeking legal advice for a separation also jumps.
That is true for lawyers, the family court system and also counselling and mediation services, with the Institute of Family Therapy also confirming a January jump in their figures.
However it’s generally not reflected in divorce rates, as a divorce application takes at least one year to process.
This change down to several factors:
1. People have got a lot more time to soul-search and reflect on the year that has passed and that’s when they may choose to reach out for advice.
2. It can be a time that a lot of couples try to battle through for the sake of their children and perhaps once that time has passed they decide that they may choose not to persist with a bad relationship any longer
3. On a practical note, tax purposes and schedules certainly come into play at the end of the year. Your marital status on December 31st determines your marital status for the entire tax year. For some, marriage is a tax benefit, so they wait until the new year to begin a divorce. Also, with vacations and court closings, November and December are logistically tough for scheduling meetings and other things that come with divorce.