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Why are there more divorces at the beginning of the year?

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There may not be a perfect time to divorce, but there is a popular time to do so. Divorce rates surge upward significantly between January and March, reports CNN. Why do so many people file for divorce at the beginning of a new year?

The reasons are many, and understanding them can help you determine when the right time can be for you to divorce.

Holding off until after the holidays

Relationships do not suddenly head south at the beginning of the year. Often, they get rocky before then. With the holidays in the way, couples may wait until after the celebrations are over so as not to ruin the season for their children and families, or even for themselves. It may be easier to go through the motions for a couple months than to figure out child custody and/or new holiday arrangements right away. Couples may even have the hopes that the holiday festivities will help heal their marriages so divorce goes off the table.

The influence of New Year’s

Even without the complications of Thanksgiving, Christmas and other winter holidays, January comes with its own pressure. New Year’s is a time to review life and make positive changes toward physical and emotional health. Upon examination, a spouse may come to realize the marriage is unhealthy or dead. The symbolism of new beginnings can boost the courage to start a new phase of life without the other spouse.

The influence of Valentine’s Day

Some couples want to avoid Valentine’s Day, full of romance and expectations. For others, this holiday proves to be the final confirmation that things are over, contributing to the continuance of the trend into March. 

Other explanations

Sometimes, the reasons are more practical. Courts and lawyers have limited availability with all the holidays. Couples may be short on money, waiting for bonuses or tax returns to pay for attorneys or claim as assets. They may also want to do it all in one calendar year to make filing for taxes the next year easier. 

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