There’s a perception out there that after the holidays conclude, with the idea of fresh starts and new beginnings in the air, that there’s a rush of unhappy couples to family law offices to initiate divorces. In fact, the perception is that January is “Divorce Month,” and that more divorces are filed at this time of year than any other.
The New York Times recently deflated this myth while, in a way, giving some credence to the idea that people might be more divorce-minded once a new year is officially underway.
The article explores the idea that January is the most frequent month for divorce, and actually floated the idea that more filings happen in March and August than at other times of the year.
It did, however, note the following:
A Google Trends search for “divorce” last year returned that it was, ever so slightly, most popular from Jan. 6 through Jan. 12. The term also appeared to be trending upward from the last week of December through this week. But over the past five years, the search term peaked at various times including March 2018, January 2017 and September 2016.
It also noted that while Thanksgiving to New Year’s tends to be slower for divorce lawyers, activity picks back up in January. Indeed, some of that might be attributed to the sentiment, as National Association of Divorce Professionals chief executive Vicky Townsend put it, that “the holidays are over, and I’m not going into this year as miserable as I was last year.”
We see that from the calls we get right after the new year starts that this is the case. A number of the calls we get indicate that events during the holiday season actually function as a “last straw” to move people to want to divorce.
The reason for March rather than January as a busy month for filing could have to do with what’s required for filing. As those who get divorced come to know, it’s a legal agreement that seeks to distribute a couple’s assets and debts, and therefore requires significant financial paperwork even when couples agree to how to split those. It’s not unreasonable at all to take six to eight weeks to decide on the right lawyer and get financial documents together to be ready to proceed when the petition is filed.
The most important thing to remember in divorce is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. There’s not an especially good or bad time of the year to file, there’s no guarantee that both parties will want to move toward divorce at the same pace, and there’s no set timetable for how long a divorce will take (though in Texas, a divorce petition must be on file at least 60 days before the divorce can be granted).
If you think you’re ready to divorce, the Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C. can help you determine which approach might be best in your case, as well as which of our lawyers might be best suited to work with you throughout the divorce process. Whether you make the decision in January or another time of the year, having a family law firm that can handle litigation, mediation, and collaborative law gives you more choices on the directions you’d like to go.