More Couples Wait Until After Holidays to Divorce

Law Firm Newswire



Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) January 26, 2016 – March has earned the nickname “Divorce Month” according to divorce trends over the past several years.

December has historically had a lower number of divorce filings. Although couples may be thinking about divorce, they are often reluctant to break up during Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas or New Year as they want to avoid additional stress during the expectation-laden holiday season. In addition, couples with children may choose to have one last holiday together as a family.

“Although divorce can be painful and traumatic no matter when it occurs, for divorcing parents it is generally a good idea not to disrupt the holiday season as children are likely to feel the impact of the split much more during that time,” said Gerald Maggio, a family law attorney in Orange County, California.

Family law attorneys traditionally considered the start of the New Year as the busiest time for divorces. However, research by in 2012 indicated the overall divorce rate starts to surge in beginning January until it peaks in late March. The legal information website collaborated with research service Westlaw to analyze divorce filings across the nation from 2008 to 2011. They also found that internet searches for divorce-related information increased 50 percent from December through March.

Financial factors such as income tax and yearend bonuses can also affect the timing of a divorce. A person’s marital status as of Dec. 31 determines whether they will file joint taxes or an individual return for the past year. Separating couples also tend to decide their approach to the divorce — whether it is litigation or mediation — during the three-month period after December.

“Besides family dynamics, finances also come into play in divorces. The holiday season can be an especially spending-heavy time of year,” said Maggio. “In contrast to a traditional litigated divorce, mediation can drastically reduce costs for couples who can work through their issues together in a conflict-free setting.”

Learn more at