Why Does the Divorce Rate Increase in January?


January 6, 2021

January is unofficially referred to as the “divorce month.” According to a recent study at the University of Washington, filings in January are statistically higher compared to other months. Similar studies have found higher filing rates in January in other states as well. There are a number of reasons for this uptick. From a social and emotional standpoint, couples that are experiencing difficulties may decide to stick it out through the holiday season at the end of the year. For some, it is to avoid upsetting families, especially when children are involved. For others, the holiday season is a time to make a concerted effort to overcome differences.

In contrast, some couples find the end of year holiday season to be particularly emotionally demanding, and a time when the fissures in their marriage become more evident. Unhappy spouses may become disillusioned, especially if the holidays are stressful or upsetting. A bad holiday season may be the impetus to file for a divorce in January. A new year can be seen as a time for new beginnings and provide the impetus to start on a new and different path.

Couples may delay filing for divorce until the new year for beneficial tax treatment. New legislation, such as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), may be a consideration. The legislation stopped alimony payments from being a tax deduction. Recipients of spousal support do not need to claim it as taxable income. These changes became effective for divorces finalized after January 1, 2019.

What Should I Consider Before I File for Divorce?

Regardless of timing, it is important for couples to consider salvaging the marriage before filing for divorce. A rough patch in the marriage may be temporary. Psychologists and lawyers alike advise clients to be sure a divorce is the best option. High conflict marriages where personal safety and sovereignty are threatened should be ended. Other marriages are a much more nuanced issue deserving of careful consideration. Divorce should not be impulsive.

Divorce is a complex process of disentangling property, finances, and reordering social relationships. When children are involved, there will be a certain amount of disruption, upset, and confusion that they must endure. Issues, such as alimony, child custody, and child support, will need to be resolved. A lawyer can help with divorce matters.

Moorestown Divorce Lawyers at Stockton Family Law Represent Clients Seeking Divorce

Our experienced Moorestown divorce lawyers at Stockton Family Law offer full-service representation to clients seeking divorce. If you are considering divorce, we can help you with the process. Complete our online form or call us at 856-412-5052 for an initial consultation. Located in Moorestown, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Mount Laurel, Burlington County, and Camden County.

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