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Why Divorces 'Peak' Every January

Now that it's November, the leaves are changing colors and after a long, hot summer in Los Angeles, the weather has finally cooled down.

For divorce attorneys everywhere, November doesn't just mean that Black Friday and the holidays are around the corner, it means we're coming up to "peak divorce season," which arrives in January.

In the divorce realm, we have Divorce Monday, which refers to the surge of divorce filings on the first Monday of the year. This time around, Divorce Monday will be on January 4, 2016.

Even our firm sees a significant increase in people seeking divorce advice, and ultimately filing in January. According to James McLaren, the president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the number of divorce filings in January is one-third more than usual.

This surge begins in January and continues to roll into March. What gives? If you happen to have children, or if your family "goes all out" over the holidays, you get this one.

Married couples are hesitant to break up the family during Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas or New Year's. It doesn't sit well with your spouse when you kick them out or pack your bags on Christmas Eve.

People also wait due to the scarcity in the court's schedule, their schedule, and their attorney's schedule. Some ask, "What's the point when there's only three weeks of court time between Thanksgiving and New Year's?"

The last thing you want when you finally get the nerve to file the papers is find out that you can't get into court. That said, there's no such thing as a "perfect" time to file for divorce.

For some, it's in January, for others it's in the summer while the kids are out on summer break, while for others, December is as good a month as any. It all depends on the individual.

Having 'One More' Holiday as a Family

Sometimes when people are in an unhappy relationship, they decide to grin and bear it until the holidays are over. They agree to divorce, but decide to put on a "happy front" until after the New Year so they can have one last Christmas as a family.

For many of us, the holidays come with huge expectations. Our kids are extremely excited, our mother-in-law purchased her ticket from New York to LA months ago, and we can't get our deposit back on that Big Bear cabin we rented for Christmas.

So, it's understandable why we convince ourselves that it's only fair to give our kids one more holiday season with their family intact, and hey – there's nothing wrong with that conclusion.

While lots of people wait till the holidays are over to file for divorce, there are those who are in the midst of divorce and want it wrapped up by years-end. That's especially the case for people who want to file their 2015 taxes as a single person.

To discuss the timing of your divorce, contact an Encino divorce lawyer who is a Board Certified family law specialist from Cutter & Lax!

Categories: Divorce, Divorce Advice

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