Why Do People File for Divorce after the Holidays?

Posted on in Illinois Family Law

Illinois divorce lawyerThe holiday season in DuPage County is upon us, and with it comes the looming threat of divorce. Whether you celebrate Christmas or are a member of the Muslim community of Oakbrook Terrace, the general holiday season in the country — from Thanksgiving through the New Year — is often a time in which married couples reevaluate their positions and consider the possibility of making a change as part of a New Year’s resolution. And it is not simply the winter holiday season that results in a spike in divorce rates. A recent divorce study concluded that a majority of divorce filings occur soon after the winter holiday season, and then soon after summer vacations come to an end.

What else should you know about filing for divorce after the holidays?

Divorce Day or the Beginning of the Work Week after the Holiday Season

Many family law advocates have begun to describe the first Monday after winter break comes to an end as “Divorce Day,” or “when the flood of divorce emails clog attorney inboxes.” While many DuPage County residents look forward to the holiday season and taking time off from work, the season is not always the happiest time of the year for couples. To be sure, one survey concluded that divorce filings jump by nearly one-third following the holidays.

The spike in divorce filings occurs primarily in the beginning of January, but it can extend into the subsequent winter months.

Using the Winter Break to Reassess Your Relationship

Why do so many couples rush to file for divorce once winter vacations come to an end? For many couples, they see time off from work in November, December, and January as periods to work on their marriage and to make a final decision about whether the relationship can last. About 25 percent of couples surveyed indicated that the holiday break could possibly make or break their marriage, while about 10 percent of couples surveyed indicated that they planned to make a decision about whether to file for divorce based on the state of the relationship by New Year’s Day.

Is it a bad idea to base a decision about the dissolution of your marriage on a couple of weeks off from work between Thanksgiving and the New Year? Many commentators suggest that couples set expectations much too high during this period and, naturally, the holiday season does not live up to expectations. To be clear, “when reality falls short of expectations, it can be very difficult.” Moreover, the fact that the New Year — a time to “make a change”— typically signals the end of winter vacations, numerous spouses decide that the best change to make is to file for divorce. As one psychiatrist explained, “People take stock of their life at the new year, and it’s tempting to make on dot their New Year’s resolutions include getting rid of their spouse if they have been miserable in their marriage.”

Finally, finances may also play a role in the decision to divorce after the holidays. Many DuPage County families spend significant amounts of money on vacations and other activities during winter breaks and they plan for that spending to stop after the New Year. Additionally, couples are thinking about “trigger dates” in prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, as well as tax implications of getting divorced before the New Year.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Do you have questions about filing for divorce after the holidays? A passionate DuPage County divorce attorney can discuss the legal and financial implications of divorce in December and through the New Year. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office today to learn more.





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