Do divorce filings actually spike after the holidays?

For many families, the holidays are about coming together. This means spending lots of time with loved ones while juggling all the different needs that come with that. These few weeks are a time of celebration, not division.

This is precisely why someone who is thinking about divorce may choose to hold on a bit longer, waiting until life settles back into the normal routine in the first quarter of the new year before officially filing.

Divorce interest, filings spike right after the holidays

Waiting until after the holidays to file for divorce is not an uncommon strategy, as a recent report from USA Today explains:

  • Google searches on the topic of divorce peak in early January
  • “Divorce party” search figures on Pinterest rose 21% during January in recent years
  • A University of Washington study found divorce filings increased during the first month of the new year in multiple states

All of this suggests some spouses are already preparing to file for divorce, but they are waiting until the post-holiday period to actually go through with it. It makes a lot of sense. Initiating a divorce in the midst of family time can be upsetting for everyone. Also, the onset of a new year marks a turning point for many people. Some may take it as an opportunity to commit to a big life change, such as a separation or divorce.

Coping with the emotional seesaw throughout the year

An early year divorce announcement is quite the emotional swing for a family that just months ago was spending seemingly happy days together. While few parts of a divorce are ever easy, the first few months of the process can be especially difficult for all involved.

There are ways to help you cope, including:

  • Tackling your fears head-on
  • Managing your negative emotions
  • Allowing yourself to do things that bring you joy
  • Thinking about what you want in the future
  • Using strategies such as writing to help make sense of everything

While navigating the legal and emotional hurdles of a divorce, you will have some good days and some bad days. Fortunately, you can face the end of your year with confidence by seeking professional legal help.