New Year, New Life - Why Do Divorce Filings Increase in January?

Ask most any divorce and child custody attorney and they will tell you that divorce and timesharing modification filings increase in January.  According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys, filings in the month of January increase by as much as 27%-33% in the month of January and February over the average month.

In a survey of 2000 couples from 2014, one in five of those couples stated that they intended to file for divorce after the holiday season.  This is fairly common.  Many couples are reluctant to break up the home or begin proceedings during Thanksgiving, Hanukah, or Christmas.  While it may not have any real legal ramifications, it does not exactly help one's social standing to serve your spouse with divorce papers on Christmas Eve.

Spouses with children are even more reluctant to file during the holidays.  There is so much tradition and emphasis on the holidays, especially Christmas, that many parents cling to the idea that they will give the children just one more Christmas with the family intact.  The efficacy of this is debatable depending on the toxicity of the spouse's relationship.  One could wind up with scenes more reminiscent of the Christmas Vacation movie rather than a Hallmark card or Norman Rockwell painting.

The newly single (or those wishing to be) do not appear to want to be alone for long.  According to a MarketWatch article from 2015, January 4th is the peak date for online dating sites.  According to MarketWatch, popular online dating site,, sees a 38% increase in new registrations between December and February.  Actually around one third of new marriages now actually begin online.  Some sources say marriages that begin online actually have a higher success rate than those who meet offline.  On the other hand, if things do not work out, there is always next year.

Photo courtesy of Epic Fireworks

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