The holiday season is in full swing right now. Everyone expects a great start for the New Year, especially families. However, come January, we will also see a rise in divorce filings, according to data from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (“AAML”). During the months of January in the past several years, AAML data shows between a 25 to 30 percent increase in divorce filings nationwide. This trend isn’t confined to the US either. Researchers have observed it in the UK as well.
In other words, one in five couples gets a divorce in January after the holidays. What could be driving this trend and should married couples be worried? How can family law help in Scottsdale assist in a post-holiday divorce? Read below to find out:
Driving Forces Behind Post-Holiday Divorce Filings
It can be hard to pinpoint exactly one cause for why people file for divorce so soon after the holidays. It could be that most people want to start a new year with a clean slate. If the marriage has been experiencing severe problems in the past year, then it makes sense to start the New Year with a divorce and hope for the best in the future.
The holiday season itself could be a driving force behind the divorce. Families get together for important events like Thanksgiving and Christmas. That means staying together, often with extended family, in the house without that many excuses to leave. Instead of bringing people together, the holidays can also exacerbate problems that drive people toward separation. The holiday time can exert pressure to present a happy face and pretend that everyone in the family is doing fine. It can take a toll on the psyche. Many spouses see January as their first real time to flee the marriage without doing so during the holiday crush.
The holidays can also make financial problems worse, one of the main reasons behind the divorce. People spend enormous amounts of money shopping for the holidays, throwing holiday parties and enjoying vacations. When the final credit card bill arrives, marital fighting ensues, and the marriage is broken beyond repair come January.
Reasons Not to Rush a Post-Holiday Divorce
Anger and tension can be high when the holidays end. But like all things in life, it can be unwise to rush towards a divorce according to marriage experts and even some divorce lawyers. In states like Arizona, divorce can be expensive and protracted because courts are overwhelmed with so many cases. Besides, Arizona is a community property state, where all assets acquired during the marriage are presumably distributed equally, despite the income levels of each spouse. Contesting such distributions in court can prove costly in time, treasure and emotion.
It’s best to consider alternatives before rushing to separate from a spouse. For example, divorce lawyers in Scottsdale can help you and your spouse mediate differences in marriage. The couple can consider the possibility of divorce and see how assets may be divided before going to court. It’s best to negotiate a separation without contesting everything in a full-fledged litigation. A temporary legal separation is also an option for those who don’t want to divorce, who want to continue to be on each other’s health insurance and other issues.
Instead of rushing to file for a January divorce, think about the end game. What will happen to kids, pets, or elderly dependents? What about finances for the rest of the year and health insurance? Consult a lawyer regarding all of this before going to divorce court. You can confidentially consult that lawyer in December, January or any other month of the year. Don’t rush—instead be smart, prudent and calculating to maximize your property recovery and your emotional health.