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What is divorce season?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | Divorce |

While divorce can happen anytime during the year, it tends to peak between January and March. It’s so prevalent that it’s often referred to as “divorce season”.

There are several factors contributing to this phenomenon.

A cultural calendar

One reason we tend to see a surge in divorce filings early in the year is partly due to the holiday season. Many couples choose not to disrupt the festivities, especially if they have young children. 

However, the holidays provide an opportunity for reflection and a chance to evaluate relationships. The stress and strain of the season, along with forced togetherness, can highlight marital issues. The new year may feel like the perfect time for a fresh start, so some people begin researching their options beginning in early January.

Financial considerations also play a role in the timing of divorce filings. Couples may choose to file at the beginning of the year to simplify the division of assets and debts from the previous year. It also allows them to file a joint tax return and take advantage of certain tax breaks. 

Even if couples start considering ending an unhappy marriage in January, the actual filing requires considerable preparation, such as gathering financial documents. This can take time, which could explain why most divorce filings actually take place in March. Therefore, the timeline is usually broken down into January “decision month”, February “planning month” and March “filing month”.

While these reasons can explain the “divorce season” trend, it’s important to remember that the reason for divorce is deeply personal and can be influenced by many factors beyond certain times of the year. Before making any decision, it’s crucial for someone considering divorce to speak with someone who can inform them of their rights and help them understand their options.