January is known as the time of new beginnings, but it’s also the time of endings.
Endings to bad habits, endings to procrastination, endings to excuses and sometimes, endings to marriages.
In fact, so many people choose to end their marriage in January, that in parts of the world’s legal communities, it’s known as Divorce Month.
There’s even a Divorce Day that falls on the Monday most people and businesses resume work, this year falling on January 7.
There’s no one reason for a spike in divorce enquiries legal professionals see, but a whole bunch. According to experts, for some, it’s that three weeks off over Christmas was enough time together to realise something was wrong, or that after going into the break thinking they could fix things, a couple realise they couldn’t. For others, it’s that the stress of the holidays started relationship-ending fights. And then there’s those who, New Year’s resolution-style, decide that this is going to be the year they finally end their marriage.
But while some couples wait until the festive season is over to begin divorce proceedings, many couples start the process amid Christmas and New Year’s.
“Over the last two or three years, I’ve noticed that people even inquire a little bit earlier between Christmas and New Year,” head of family law at Slater & Gordon Andrew Newbury told The Independent.
Listen: When Chloe Shorten divorced her husband of ten years, telling the kids was the hardest part. She recounts what she said to Mia Freedman, on No Filter.
In England and Wales alone, 455 people submitted divorce applications between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, according to the Ministry of Justice.
On Christmas Day last year alone, 13 people filed for divorce.
According to data analysed by divorce service Amicable, more than 40,5o0 people will search the term ‘divorce’ online in January alone.
The Australian Institute of Family Studies explained in the Daily Telegraph because a divorce applications take at least a year to complete, divorces begun in January might be more often completed in later months of the following year.
But before you lose your faith in marriage and love, we do have some good news – overall divorce rates are down.
The most recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show divorce rates are much lower than 20 years ago. Unfortunately, a lot of this can be attributed to couples choosing to simply live together over getting hitched. So maybe not so good news after all?