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The Heart Beat The Heart Beat blog

Divorces increase after the holidays

Many couples ring in the New Year with a split.

By Kristin Wong Dec 17, 2012 5:20PM

January is widely regarded as "divorce month," and for good reason. More divorces are filed in January than any other month.

In fact, there's such a spike in divorce filings after the holidays, professionals prepare themselves for the boom. Divorce lawyer James Gross of law firm Thyden, Gross & Callahan told YourTango:

"Some attorneys take the last two weeks of the year off to get ready for the rush. January really does see a lot of divorces."

Photo: Thomas Northcut/Getty ImagesMore on MSN Living: 12 things we learned about love in 2012

Ginita Wall organizes a divorce workshop in Los Angeles. She told NBCLA that she sees a surge in attendees between January and March:

More on MSN Living: 12 things that change about sex when you get married

"People somehow expect the job of the season is going to correct a troubled marriage," Wall says. "And it never does."
Other experts speculate that holiday stress pushes relationships to their breaking point. Tax considerations may also have couples postponing their divorce until the New Year.
Divorce consultant Cathy Meyer explains:
"There may be more divorces than ever in January because some unhappy people have been putting divorce off during the downturn simply because they could not afford it."
Psychotherapist and divorce expert Mel Schwartz would agree. He told The Heart Beat:
"Divorce is far less a stigma than it used to be. However, the current economic conditions may force many people to remain unhappily married due to financial constraints."
But as the New Year approaches, those financial constraints might seem less important than a fresh start.
"Divorce should not be considered unless each person can say they have individually done all they can reasonably do," Schwartz adds. "Have they looked into themselves, have they worked on communications skills, have they engaged in therapy?"
With January looming, many couples will feel they've done everything they can reasonably do. For them, the New Year will also mean a new status and a new start.
Photo: Thomas Northcut/Getty Images
More from The Heart Beat:

5 weird reasons couples have divorced
The top 5 regrets of divorced people

In Japan, there's a toilet for divorce

34Comments
Dec 18, 2012 12:19AM
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Marraige is a contract, plain and simple.While it should be entered into very carefully, the fact is, it is a legal definition. The state marries you legally, not whatever religion you practice. You can choose to make your religious affilliation part of it, but you don't have  to have one to get married, so the marriage being "sacred is bunk". If is sacred in your religion, and you took those vows in a sacred manner, that is fine and you should honor that. But actual marraige is a legal contract, and if both parties want out, this should not be a problem. Thats why I feel gays should be able to marry. The main argument against this is  religion, and morality, but it is legal for people with no religious affliliation to marry. Its a legal issue, not a religious one. That is not my opinion. it is a fact.  However, the big problem is when kids are brought into the fray. Now, it is not just a legal problem, but you affecting someone else's life. Now, this is sacred in my eyes and the thing that needs to bind a marraige no matter what, unless there are some extreme circumstances where the actual marraige is more toxic to the kids than a divorce.
Dec 18, 2012 12:07AM
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I guess marriage with commitment and compromise is no longer popular...but, my own marriage has lasted 40 years and is still going strong. Just one thing; if you don't want to share a commitment...why do you get married?
Dec 17, 2012 11:23PM
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After 3 years of being married, at 10:30 at night she said her friends were coming over in the morning to help her move out. 1989. There were marriage counselors back then. I tried to hang in there for 14 more years. Man was I stupid. And yes the poor dear little women get 70% . She credit carded 5000.00 dollars for her lawyer in which she wanted me to pay. Us men are expected to suck it up and get a better job to pay for child support and alimony. I won custody of my three children and had to still pay child support. As I made more money she filed with the state to get more money. Getting a divorce is the womans biggest scam going now a days. If a woman marries 2 or 3 times in her life, and has kids, she is set financially for the rest of her life and all the men are losers. Men are paying mortgages into their 70s. After losing a house for 17 years, I then had to buy another one for another 30 year mortgage. Women need to really think about what they are doing to this ****ry. There will be no retirement for me in the future because of greedy women and messed up court systems.Yes, the children are the ones that also suffer. Its hard to tell children why a woman wants a divorce.
Dec 17, 2012 10:22PM
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Time to update my Match.com profile. It's going to be a good year!
Dec 17, 2012 10:18PM
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my ex gave me the papers on x-mas for my present. shows a lot of thought for giving on her part. lol
Dec 17, 2012 10:09PM
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Been married 45 years, and there have been extremely good time, and some bad times, but we never went into this with the mind set that it could be swept under the rug. 
Dec 17, 2012 10:04PM
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I've always said I can love many but I can't live with any of them. Marriage requires effort, compromise and work. For those who just give up, what did you learn? What did you accomplish? What are you expecting? It's so difficult for people to think beyond their own self interest today. My wife and I do well because all of the decisions we make has to pass the litmus test of what is in the best interest of the relationship. If it works for the relationship, it will work for us individually.

If you need to have a boys night out or girls night out once a week, than maybe you don't need to be in a marriage. If you need separate vacations, then you do not need a marriage. Marriage can be defined so many different ways. But if you do not want to commit yourself to the other person, if they are not your closest and most trusted friend, if they are not the one you want to spend time with when you have spare time, then don't get married.

And before having children, make sure you have spent years with each other. It doesn't work to bring children into the marriage until you have truly bonded as a couple. And it takes a lot of time to make that happen.

Dec 17, 2012 9:57PM
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I had to get divorced my wife could not get along with my girl friend.  She just was uncomfortable with the relationship.  Looking back I probably should have split them up in seperate houses.
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