It has long been known that January is the month that most people divorce. With that in mind, lawyers in London actually picked a specific date for D-Day — as in, divorce day: The first Monday after children return to school. In England, that will be January 12th.
In the U.S., according to some experts, divorce filings will see a dramatic spike this week — the first full week of January.
Why wait until January vs earlier?
Logic is that no one wants to ruin a child's Christmas and if you divorce over the holidays, the holidays will then be always associated with a traumatic event.
Although some in the U.S. believe that the crumbling economy and falling housing prices will delay divorces, a lawyer in England thinks otherwise.
"Many are concerned that divorcing when house prices are plummeting means they’ll lose a great deal of money from what they view as an inevitable sale, says Shelley Hesford, a solicitor in Cheshire who spoke with the London Telegraph. So instead of waiting for prices to rise, which could take years, some couples will opt to cut their losses sooner vs. later. The estimate is that every 10 percent drop in housing prices leads to a 4 percent rise in divorce.
Tight money over the holidays may reinforce that thinking.
In addition to sticking it out over the holidays for the sake of the children, there are other factors contributing to early January being D-Day time:
• Lawyers and counselors take vacations over the holidays, courts are closed, and couples can’t file for divorce.
• Northern winters are bleak, especially after Christmas; forced togetherness indoors drives couples nuts.
• One more pair of gloves for Christmas was the final straw.
• Holiday partying led to a drunken holiday flirtation... with someone else.
• You made a New Years resolution not to have another holiday with him.
• The hangover was bad, but not as bad as facing that first breakfast of the new year with someone you no longer love.
Another candidate for record numbers of decisions to get divorced: we say January 20, after the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. By that time, children have gotten back into the rhythm of school and life; they have their friends around them, so that a family breakup is less jarring.
One positive fact: appointments for marriage counselors also go up in January, meaning that some couples decide to work on their relationship, and not give up – yet. The other top times for filing for divorce are at the end of the school year, and at the end of summer vacation.
While most people resolve to lose weight for the new year, it turns out that for others the weight to be lost is that of an unfulfilling marriage.