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Why January is nicknamed “divorce month.”

What about the holiday season makes couples go from kissing under the mistletoe to dropping a piece of coal in their significant other’s stocking? Apparently, most married couples aren’t as cheery as they seem during the holidays, rather putting on a brave face until the new year.

January is infamous among legal circles and is commonly coined “Divorce Month” due to the large increase in divorce petitions filed at the beginning of the new year. There’s even an increase in couples considering divorce between Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, according to Google trends.

The stressful nature surrounding holiday cheer

Several theories surround why divorce increases after the holiday season. The primary hypothesis is that couples want to wait until after the holidays to separate. Most spouses do not want to create more drama or conflict by starting the divorce process right before Christmas kicks in – especially if they have children.

However, some researchers believe that the holidays could put more strain on a relationship, which ultimately causes an interest in divorce. Between traveling, spending and sacrificing time, it makes sense that some married couples may want to avoid the stress of it all again next year.

That’s why couples must prioritize their happiness over the perception of “holiday cheer.” If you feel you need to wait until March to separate, take your time. It’s best to do what’s best for your health and marriage.

Once you are seriously ready, consult with a legal expert about the best process for you. In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, you cannot implement a legal separation, so try to find out what other options are available to you and your partner.

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