Many unhappy couples look to January as best time to divorce

Now that 2015 has arrived, many Americans are working to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions. For some, this might mean getting to the gym. For others, it might mean quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol or going on a diet.

But for a significant number of Americans, the start of a new year means finally filing for divorce. In recent decades, January has earned a reputation as “divorce month.” This is due to the spike in divorce filings and attorney inquiries that seem to start in early January each year.

There are a number of theories to explain why so many people choose to file in January. For starters, many unhappy couples avoid starting divorce proceedings during the holidays, often for the benefit of their children or to avoid uncomfortable questions at family get-togethers. Second, the symbolism of “starting fresh” in the New Year might convince an unhappily married couple to definitively call it quits.

Finally, some people might wait until the start of the new fiscal year to file for divorce in order to simplify their tax returns. If you file for divorce in January, that means you were married through the end of 2014. This makes filing your tax return in April much less complicated than it might be if you had started divorce proceedings in November or December.

If you are considering divorce, the important thing to keep in mind is that there is no universally “right” or “wrong” time to file. You ultimately need to choose your own timeline based on life circumstances and your own feeling of readiness. When that time comes, an experienced family law attorney can help you get started.

Source: Market Watch, “Why January is a popular month to file for divorce,” Quentin Fottrell, Jan. 6, 2015

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