As we enter 2012, it is a time for fresh starts. Perhaps this is one of the reasons couples frequently choose the month of January to divorce. In fact, January has the reputation of being the most popular month for divorce filings, nicknamed “Divorce Month”.
Why do couples often split in January? There are a number of theories. One potential reason is that couples don’t want to separate during the holidays when it could cause disruption during the many family events and impact children’s enjoyment of the festivities. Couples therefore might stick it out during November and December, and finally, file in January.
The hectic holidays may also push already stressed marriages to the breaking point. Spouses may reflect on the past year, and come to the conclusion they don’t want to continue down the same path.
For those filing in January, it is important to note that an individual’s marital status as of December 31st determines whether taxes may be filed jointly. This may impact some couple's choice of the filing date.
Those organizations that have attempted to identify the particular “D-Day” in January where the most filings occur have come to different conclusions, but most fall towards the beginning of the first full week of the month.
Another spike in divorce filings tends to occur in late summer, likely because parents want to get settled and possibly relocate before their children begin the new school year.
Regardless of popularity, the best time to file for divorce is when it makes sense for your unique situation.
Source: Huffington Post, January: More Divorces Than Any Other Month?, Meghan Bereford.