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Welcome to Divorce Season. Is it Post Holiday Stress or Something More Serious?

The holidays are over, and with the quiet solitude of winter, reality sets in.  Perhaps the bills from an especially generous holiday season are causing arguments, or the inability to be outside as often has caused irritability. In some cases, the reality that you just really aren’t as compatible with your spouse as you once were has become apparent. In any case, it’s important to seek professional help.

Don’t feel alone. Divorce season is real, but what’s the reason for the divorce increase during January?

It may be impossible to know for sure, but some of the common reasons likely include:

  • Many couples who have been unhappy with one another for some time don’t want to disrupt the holidays or cause upset for the children and family members during this time so they wait until it’s over to start the process. They may also hold onto the idea of one last holiday season together as a family.
  • It can also be due to a monetary impact—the sooner in the year couples start divorce proceedings, the sooner it’s likely to be finalized and they can get their financial lives and tax obligations in order as a newly single person for next year. It also means as far as the past year goes, there’s not going to be an interruption in joint tax returns.
  • People often tend to feel like January is a time for fresh starts. A New Year often brings a renewed sense of motivation to make changes in one’s life, and that can include finally deciding to end a relationship.

What’s interesting to note is that while divorce filings and also divorce-related searches surge at the start of a new year, the same is true of activity on dating sites. Match.com, which is one of the country’s most pervasive online dating sites, reports a tremendous surge in sign-ups in the weeks between December and February. Perhaps couples may not want to be married to their current spouse, but they also don’t want to spend the winter alone.

Give yourself a gift and make therapy your New Year’s resolution. According to research done by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, families and couples who have attended family or couples therapy sessions indicate high levels of patient satisfaction. Over 98 percent of those surveyed reported that they received good or excellent couples therapy, and over 97 percent of those surveyed said they got the help they needed. After working with a marriage or family therapist, 93 percent of patients said they had more effective tools for dealing with their problems. Respondents also reported improved physical health and the ability to function better at work after attending therapy.

It would be wonderful if therapy would work for everyone, but this is not always possible. If you are considering divorce, consult with a qualified divorce attorney to discuss your situation specifically.