"It doesn't look very good to sue your spouse for divorce on Christmas Eve," admits the head of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Nevertheless, divorce lawyers start seeing a whole lot more clients after the New Year. In fact, the first Monday in January is getting a reputation as Divorce Monday.
Calling it "Divorce Monday" isn't quite accurate; divorce filings typically go up by about a third during January and continue to surge straight into March. The head of the AAML calls it "New Year's Resolution Syndrome."
It works like this: Someone who struggles through a difficult family Thanksgiving might consider filing for divorce shortly afterward, but with only three business weeks left in the year, court calendars are packed. Plus, many people feel only makes sense to wait until after the New Year in order to avoid creating unpleasant associations for the children.
If the unhappy spouse doesn't file right after the holidays, tax season may provide the final push by reminding him or her that there will be consequences to further delay. Since a divorce could take months to finalize, filing early in the year provides the best chance to start the next year fresh -- as a single taxpayer.
Change is in the air for all types of relationships, according to MarketWatch. It turns out that the first Monday in January is also the busiest time of year for traffic on Match.com. Last year, the online dating giant said it sees about a 38-percent rise in registrations between December and February. The dating app Zoosk said that it sees about one-quarter more registrations in the two weeks following Christmas.
If you have been unhappy and are thinking about getting a divorce, please know you are not alone. The sore spots that have been troubling you all year are even more vulnerable during the holiday season. Holiday lights may reveal the cracks and fissures in your relationship -- but they can also shine the way to a new life.