Every year divorce attorneys brace for it. Come January, we know our phones will be ringing off the hook. At Connatser Family Law, our paralegals typically field the most calls on January 2nd and throughout the first week in January. Some law firms say their phones are busiest the first day kids go back to school or the first weekday following winter break.
The label “Divorce Month” is a bit of a misnomer. For most divorce lawyers, the influx of calls continues into February and March, with actual divorce filings peaking in March, according to researchers from the University of Washington.
So why do so many people reach out to divorce lawyers in January?
Or February … or March? It depends. In fact, there are several reasons people “make the call” shortly after a new year commences.
They want to wait out the craziness of the holidays.
Filing for divorce during the holidays can be problematic because holidays are inherently hectic and loaded with competing demands. For many people considering divorce, it’s just easier – and less stressful – to wait.
They feel filing for divorce during the holidays, as on other special dates, would be insensitive.
Some people don’t want to put a damper on the holidays for their spouse or other loved ones, preferring to make the break after the dust of the holidays settles. This is the same reason people avoid filing on anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions – they don’t want to tie a sad memory to a special date.
They want to wait until after the holidays for the sake of the children.
Some parents want to give their children one last, magical, happy Christmas or Hanukkah as an intact family. Holidays are made of memories and many parents don’t want their children to associate what should be a joyous time with their parents’ divorce.
Learn how to sensitively break the news to kids that you’re getting divorced in this past post.
They find that the holidays magnify existing marital problems.
To some, the holiday season can amplify feelings that a spouse isn’t supportive or doesn’t treat them special or help with the kids enough. These heightened sentiments combined with a case of the post-holiday blues can be a tipping point for some spouses.
They suspect their spouse has been unfaithful.
It isn’t unusual during the holidays for individuals who are having an affair to buy gifts or flowers for a paramour. Discovering credit card charges that the unfaithful party can’t explain can raise suspicions and, ultimately, expose infidelity.
Divorce is a life-changing decision; proceed with caution
While the post-holiday months may be the most popular time to contact an attorney about divorce, that doesn’t mean it’s the best time for every couple – or you. There really is no good or perfect time to get divorced. It’s also important to recognize that divorce is a very personal, emotional and life-changing undertaking.
If you’re unhappy in your marriage, consider speaking with a marriage counselor or member of the clergy first. All marriages go through ups and downs, and counseling may help you and your spouse work through challenges and keep your marriage and family intact.
Should you find that your marriage is broken beyond repair, take time to find an experienced family law attorney who is equipped to represent you in a manner that aligns with your goals. No two lawyers or law firms are identical, so it’s a good idea to meet with at least two attorneys before making a decision.
Not sure how to find a lawyer who will best fit your needs? Check out our six essential tips for hiring a divorce attorney here.
Christine Powers Leatherberry is a compassionate family lawyer who is equally comfortable in the courtroom as she is counseling her clients one-on-one. To learn more about divorce and child custody in Dallas and Collin Counties, please call (214) 617-1583 to speak confidentially with a knowledgeable and considerate member of the Connatser Family Law team.