Why The Holiday Season is Divorce Season


While the holidays can be a time for family and togetherness, they can also serve as a catalyst for splits. Why do so many divorces happen directly following the holiday season?

Divorce 360 and Your Tango both confirm that divorces often occur in January, with couples giving consideration to important life events for varying reasons.

Here are a few of those reasons.

1. One Last Try

The holidays exist surrounded by a halo of romance and comfort. While not always so idyllic in reality, this perception leads some soon-to-be-divorced couples to try to use the spirit of the season to help fix things. As Divorce 360 explains, some couples expect “miracles” to occur over the holiday season, given the sentimentality of this time of year.

In addition, family expectations may make some couples reluctant to face their loved ones alone over the holidays while newly separated. The discovery that the holiday season can’t salvage a damaged relationship can provoke a lot of couples to finally file for divorce come January.

2. For the Kids

Not everyone expects miracles; according to Mr. Custody Coach, “A primary driver for this decision is an effort to not upset the children during what should normally be a joyous and celebratory time of year.”

Between the emotional and financial turmoil of divorce, the issues of custody and visitation rights, and the chaos of separating one household into two, many couples choose to postpone the inevitable until a less emotionally charged time. Holding off on starting the divorce process also pushes the guilt over changing the kids’ family situation into the future.

Mr. Custody Coach warns that “feigning happiness and love can give the children a false sense of hope”. This is not to say that ripping the bandaid off over Christmas or Hanukkah is better; just remember that the delay is only that: a delay.

3. Reflecting on the Past Year and Facing the Next

The holidays can also cause divorces. The stresses of this time of year can bring a couple’s issues to the forefront, and impending New Year’s resolutions can inspire change. As the Huffington Post states, “Money, relatives, gatherings and preparation make this a very stressful time of year. So much so that marriages that are already strained sometimes fall apart. ” Furthermore, the New Year “is a symbolic time of renewal and change.” These factors often precipitate an increase in the number of divorces filed.

Ultimately, what works for you and your family is individual. For some couples, waiting until after the holidays only makes things more stressful in the long run; for others, giving yourselves a few extra weeks at an emotional time of year could give you the peace of mind of knowing you gave the kids a great holiday or that you gave it your best shot.

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