When we say that January is THE Divorce month of the year, we aren’t exaggerating.
Over recent years, January has unofficially become synonymous with divorce. ‘Divorce Day’ falls on the first Monday of the year, with Tuesday 4th January 2022 being the next.
Divorce related search queries on Google saw more than a 25% increase from December 2020 to January 2021. But it isn’t a new thing; divorce search terms skyrocket every January, increasing year on year.
Fair Result’s experts explain why this trend may happen.
Christmas is out of the way
The festive period is seen as the most magical time of year, but not for everyone. People who are already thinking about divorce or noticing that their marriage isn’t what they would like it to be, tend to get a harsh reminder of that during the holidays.
Christmas, New Year’s, and other holidays (such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa) come with large expectations and managing the stress of the festive period means divorcees can wait for many.
Strained couples tend to stay together over Christmas time, to ensure family, mainly the children, get a ‘normal’, loving holiday season before separating.
Other factors tend to include having to buy numerous presents, visiting extended family, or even travel costs if they’ve planned to go abroad. Taking all of it into account, you can understand how stressful the holiday season can get, before even taking divorce into consideration.
The festive rose-tinted glasses have come off
As many of us do, strained couples also tend to feel the festive joy and become more motivated to make their marriage work around the Christmas period. Come January, the reality of the situation begins to set in, once again.
An experiment conducted by a danish researcher Brand Haddock found that after showing two groups of people (one group celebrates Christmas, the other don’t) imagery of holiday themes, while they underwent a brain scan. The results reveal that the front of the brain lit up for those who celebrate Christmas as they were shown holiday-themed pictures.
Another research, by psychoanalyst Steve McKeown, shows that Christmas decorations and other holiday-related things tend to have strong associations with childhood and are more likely to bring up feelings of nostalgia. Either to remember younger years or try to compensate for the past.
Nostalgia combined with the magic of Christmas – what could go wrong?
That’s one of the reasons why people tend to try fixing their marriage during the holidays, or just blindly stay together and hope for the best. Unfortunately, January is just around the corner and with it, you’ve to welcome back the ‘real-life’.
The Holidays can propel Divorce thoughts
On the flip side, the stress of the Festive Season can actually cause relationship breakdowns.
“The holidays often create unrealistic standards about what the holidays should ‘be like,’ and that can amplify feelings of anxiety and depression” – Dr. Rutledge said.
Add some social media to the mix and you might start believing that everyone else is living perfect lives with perfect relationships.
Relate’s (UK’s biggest relationship charity) CEO, Aidan Jones said: “The emotional and financial pressures of Christmas and the holidays can push couples to breaking point. On average Relate receives a 13% rise in calls and a 58% rise in website users each January.”
Considering the financial strain of the holidays, meeting extended family, even romanticizing Christmas can lead to a disaster.
It’s rarely ever one of these things, most likely it’s a combination of various factors, but the disagreements don’t become any less real because of that.
This makes tensions rise and thoughts of divorce come to the forefront.
New Year’s Resolutions – New Year, New Me
The festive period is a time for reflection and the trend of New Year’s resolutions plays quite a factor in divorce.
Many people tend to change things up in their life after the new year begins, and for some, this includes the end of an unhealthy marriage.
The pressure of a New Year’s resolution may give those who have been considering divorce the push they need.
The end of the Tax Year is looming
Married couples who want a divorce, want it done and dusted as soon as possible. Even though it usually takes from four to six months to get divorced, the worst-case scenario – it can take years.
When divorcing, either partner can transfer assets to the other with no exposure to tax, as long as it’s done before the end of the tax year. After the tax year, such transfers result in the application of capital gains tax (CGT) on any notional (estimated) gain made by the transferor.
With only 3 months until the end of the tax year (5th April), many people looking for a divorce in January decide now is the time to start the ball rolling.
So, is it true that January is the divorce month?
Yes and No. Let us explain… January is definitely the month of divorce, but in a different way than one would assume.
What’s more likely to happen is that people were already thinking about getting divorced for months, but January tends to be that breaking point of starting to strive for a new better you.
Although much to disappointment, most divorces don’t happen for a while after January. Figuring out how to approach the proceedings, the legal jumbo, and various personal reasons take into effect first.
One could say that the real divorce month is March, simply because the legal part of separation tends to start then. Nonetheless, January is most definitely upholding the title of The Month for Divorce Decision Making.
Taking the first steps this new year
As we’ve learnt today, January is the ‘divorce decision’ month. Which means that for a lot of you, this is that last push to make a very hard decision.
We at Fair Result know what divorce feels like first-hand and we want to be there for you if and when you make that decision. With spiralling costs and damaged relationships, our aim is to make the divorce process as stress-free and straightforward as possible.
We understand the struggles and the emotional stress that comes with divorce. We have designed a unique approach, that will generate a fair result for you.
If you’re thinking about divorce and would like to know more about how we can support you, feel free to make an enquiry.
Start your New You for 2022 – #NY2022.
If we can help you with matrimonial, or any other legal queries you have, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free initial consultation.