For many, the New Year is a time to make changes and start fresh – and for some couples, that means breaking up. For people in troubled marriages, enduring another unhappy holiday together may give them the resolve once January arrives to move on with their lives separately.
In North Carolina – where marriage and divorce rates are slightly higher than the national average – divorce filings rise in the early part of the year. The highest number of divorces occurs in the spring and summer.
Regular folks aren’t the only ones to head to the courthouse after the holidays. Recent reports were predicting that Khloe Kardashian would be filing for divorce from her basketball player husband Lamar Odom in January. In a surprise move, Kardashian beat the rush and filed in December instead.
Divorce filings are common early in the year for many reasons:
- Many couples want to try to give their children one last holiday season as an intact family and thus wait to file for divorce until after the holidays are over.
- The holidays can be stressful and magnify problems in a marriage. Getting through the holidays may push some people to their limit, and filing for divorce is the relief they seek once the season has ended.
- Couples who are in marriage therapy tend to go to fewer sessions in December, due to busy holiday schedules. This can make marital problems suddenly worse, and without assistance from a mental health professional, couples in this situation may find that their problems become insurmountable by the time January rolls around.
- People are simply busy in December and finding time to get to a lawyer can be a challenge during the holidays.
- Many families spend all of their extra income on holiday gifts in December. So they may not have the money to file for divorce until later.
- The best time to sell a home is in the spring or summer. A divorce filed early in the year times out well with a need to sell the marital home in spring or summer when the market is at its peak.