As we ring in the New Year, we ring in new possibilities and begin new chapters. This theme continues into the realm of divorce, as studies show there are one-third more divorces filed in January than any other month of the year. This statistic has been shown across the map, not only in St. Louis, Missouri but across the entire country. Even countries such as the United Kingdom seemingly denote January as the month to file for divorce. While January has been coined the “divorce month,” studies show this peaked period extends from January until early March.
What is so special about January? There are several underlying explanations to this peaked period.
The most obvious explanation derives from one’s reluctance to tamper with the holiday season; no one wants to be responsible for putting a damper on holiday cheer, especially if there are children at home. This reluctance has been deemed the “New Year’s Resolution Syndrome” as those couples on the verge of dissolution want to give their family one last holiday together, as a single family unit.
There is also an administrative excuse giving rise to divorce month. There is a myth that there is a practical advantage to waiting until the holiday season has passed. People often say the reason they waited until January to seek a divorce was that they feared that the courthouse would be closed.
Some cite the task of filing taxes as the reason for waiting until January to seek a divorce.
Finally, as the end of the year concludes with holiday festivities galore, these festivities often accompany end-of-the-year bonuses. This event, consequently, drive some to wait until all bonuses have been received prior to filing, having ear-marked that money for hiring legal counsel to help navigate through this life-transition.
Despite these often mentioned reasons for waiting until January, there are many advantages to filing for divorce as soon as you have emotionally made the decision to do so. Waiting until the New Year can have its downside. To dispel the myth, there is nothing magical about the month of January. What is important in deciding whether to make this big life decision is that you seek a competent family law attorney for counsel when you are considering a divorce. If this happens to take place in January, find comfort in the fact that you are not alone.
So, what does this mean? Should you be one of the many who decide now is the time to file for divorce and end one chapter to begin a new one? If you are ready for the next chapter of your life to begin, you can start by taking some steps to prepare you for the process. Collect. Collect all those end-of-the-year financial documents—bank statements, credit card statements, tax returns and the like. Assess. You can request a credit assessment to gage your financial status and correct any inaccuracies. Acquire. Acquire an experienced family law attorney to help close this chapter in order to begin the new year with a better and brighter tomorrow.
If you are contemplating filing for divorce or have questions about the process, it is time to contact an experienced family law attorney. Kathleen Shaul and Valerie Craig are strong advocates for their clients in dissolution proceedings and give personal attention to each case. Contact The Law Offices of Kathleen E. Shaul at 314.499.1476 to arrange for a confidential consultation.