Anecdotally, most family law attorneys will tell you that divorces tend to tick up in January. While there is no centralized data source for this information, multiple firms report a more than 30% increase in divorce cases. It’s not just privately reported data, either. Google trend data in 2020 show a spike around the year’s first weeks.

So, what’s going on with divorce in the New Year?

There are many possible explanations for the uptick in divorce interest. They could include:

  • Holiday Stress:  It’s not a mistake that most holidays are exceedingly stressful for most couples. Navigating an especially hectic holiday schedule is likely to cause some tension.
  • Held off decisions: Many people hold off on making final decisions until after the holidays end. They think that Christmas and New Year’s are times of celebration.
  • Fresh start: Others pursue divorce as an attempt to get a fresh start on the year, part of a resolution, perhaps.
  • Tax reasons: Sometimes, a couple has already decided to divorce but is holding off on filing for tax reasons.

However, despite the possible reasons for couples pursuing divorce early in the year, it isn’t going to be that simple.

Pursuing divorce in Washington

Simply put, just talking about a divorce or starting the paperwork does not mean you’re done. There are several waiting periods and discussions to be had. You will likely have to go through mediation. You’ll have to settle property division matters. There is much to come.

However, if you think your New Year may come with a divorce, you’re not alone. Many people see the next few months as a time to start over. Maybe it really is the right time for you.