New Year Blues: Why January is “Divorce Month”

Have you ever wondered why January seems to be the go-to month for couples to call it quits? You’re not alone. January has unofficially earned the nickname “Divorce Month,” and it’s not just because people are over their New Year’s resolutions already. There’s more to this trend than meets the eye, and it’s not all doom and gloom. Let’s dive in and unravel this January mystery.

The History of January and Divorce

January’s link to divorce isn’t a modern phenomenon. On January 5, 1643, Anne Clark of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was granted the first recorded legal divorce in the American colonies. Her case, grounded in her husband Dennis Clarke’s admitted adultery and abandonment, underscores a long-standing association of January with new personal beginnings, even in the most challenging circumstances.

Why is January “Divorce Month”?

Family law attorneys and courts note a marked increase in divorce inquiries and filings each January, following the typically slow period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. But why is this the case?

The holiday season is a time of heightened emotion and family involvement. For many, it’s a period of reflection. The stress of the holidays, combined with the close interaction with family (including in-laws), often brings existing marital issues to the forefront. It’s a time when people reassess their lives and relationships, leading to the decision to file for divorce in the new year.

Many couples choose January for practical reasons:

  • Financial Benefits: Filing joint tax returns for the previous year, utilizing Christmas bonuses for legal expenses, and waiting for financial stability post-holiday season are significant factors.
  • Children’s Welfare: With children returning to school and focusing on their activities, parents often feel it’s a less disruptive time to initiate divorce proceedings.

Statistics and Reasons 

While “Divorce Month” has been a phenomenon since the 1970s and 1980s, a University of Washington study showed that divorce filings peak in March and August. This could be attributed to the time needed post-holidays to manage finances and gather necessary information for filing.

A closer look at why so many people choose to file for divorce in January, and what the advantages filing during this month might hold:

New Year Blues Why January is Divorce Month - Blog Chart

Remember, while January might be a popular month for divorce, everyone’s story is different. And like Anne Clarke way back in the 17th century, sometimes you’ve got to make tough calls for your own happiness. Whether you’re facing a tough decision or just curious about this January phenomenon, it’s always good to know you’re not alone in whatever chapter you’re starting. Here’s to new beginnings, whenever they may happen!

Planning on filing for divorce soon? Check out these blogs for more helpful information:

More Resources:

Are you are ready to join our online Communitywe would love to have you! We have several experts in there waiting to help. Plus other divorcees you can connect and share stories with. Remember that you are not alone, even though it might feel like it at times. There are always people ready to support you- simply reach out your hand (or finger if you’re scrolling online!)

We get your struggles… We welcome you to visit our Support hub where we have created an informative and nurturing space using various modalities for you to get educated, emotionally supported and find your way. Our complimentary support groups like Coffee Talk and SOS: Support on Saturdays can be found here, along with many other helpful tools and resources.

Get more of! Straight to your inbox weekly. You’ll be the first to know the best divorce resources, professional advice, upcoming digital and live events, supportive insights, and current divorce pitfalls to avoid. Better ways to live apart are right here. Sign up for the Newsletter.

Essential Resources

If you’re facing legal/custody battles, a mental health crisis, an urgent medical issue, serious emotional problems, including suicidal thoughts, please seek help from the appropriate professionals near you.

Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Crisis line: 1-800-356-5395
Crisis text line: Text “help” to 741741
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) Resources Marital Life Inventory
Divorce Lifecycle Document
Divorce Process Overview


323 San Vicente Blvd., Unit 1
Santa Monica, 90402

Have a question for us?
Please visit our contact form

Coffee talk:
join our weekly divorce support group hosted every Friday morning at 9 am PST.


Follow Us

Splitfyi, Inc. DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. All information provided should not be construed or relied upon as legal or tax advice. Individuals seeking legal or tax advice should solicit the counsel of competent legal or tax professionals knowledgeable about the divorce laws in their own geographical areas.

Copyright © 2022 | All rights reserved


Install our App!

Click the share icon in your browser toolbar, then click “add to home screen” to install our app.