Jan 9, 2020 | Divorce

For Illinois residents who are confronted by the emotional upheaval of a potential divorce, it might seem counterintuitive for there to be certain times of the year when more people decide to move forward with the end of a marriage. However, it is statistically true that divorce happens more frequently at the start of a new year. There are many theories as to why this is the case. Regardless of why a person decides that their family dispute has reached a point of no return and they want to divorce, having legal assistance could be one of the most important factors in achieving a satisfactory resolution.

January has become known as “Divorce Month” in legal circles. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, divorces increase by one-third in January when compared to the average number of filings. This perception is bolstered by the numbers and anecdotal evidence. Google searches indicate that, in 2019, January 6 to 12 saw a peak in people who wanted information on divorce. There are three basic reasons why divorce is so common in the first month of the new year. These include making a fresh start, thinking about children and financial considerations.

Since the beginning of a new year is viewed as the potential for starting over, people will decide they are no longer willing to stay in an unhappy relationship and use January as the line as to when they will move on. Concerns that should be addressed include making sure that the divorce is what they want and it is not just a short-term idea that they have yet to think through. If both sides agree to part ways, that can smooth the process. Children might have been the reason the couple was staying together. This is especially true during the holidays so as not to interfere with the happy times the children can have. Taking the step after the new year will allow adequate preparation and a final positive family-related memory from the holidays.

Finally, finances are a consideration. If, for example, a person is getting a bonus from work toward the end of the year, that could be excluded from the assets if the filing is done in January. There are also other financial factors such as the level of contentiousness in the relationship, if there are significant assets, a business or if it is an amicable parting. Whether it is at the start of the year or at any other time, these issues and more can come to the forefront of a divorce. When making that life-changing decision, it may be wise to have legal advice. A qualified divorce attorney may help.