January is Divorce Month – Is it the Best Time to Divorce?

January has long represented new beginnings in our culture. Even our traditional New Year’s resolutions challenge us to take a hard look at our lives and consider how we could change for the better. It’s no wonder January is a popular month for divorce.

Why is January called ‘Divorce Month’?

Given our cultural consensus about starting anew in the new year, it makes perfect sense that statistically, more people file for divorce at the end of the year – or, more precisely, in January – than any other month. Consequently, this popular time has earned the title of 'divorce month.'

You may have already made the decision but decided to put it off until after the holiday season. Or, the stress of the time of year may have been the breaking point that cemented your decision. You may have even plotted your fresh start to coincide with a new tax year.

But divorce isn’t a one-and-done situation. It’s a process that will change every aspect of your life. This begs the question: When is it really the right time for something as life-changing as a divorce? 

Read: Current Divorce Rate Statistics

How do I know it’s the right time?

Deciding to end a marriage and initiate divorce proceedings isn’t something you come to easily, let alone according to a date on the calendar. 

Everyone approaches divorce with their own unique set of circumstances. The “right time” means different things to different people. For example, someone trying to escape an abusive relationship may think of the “right time” quite differently from someone who is concerned about how divorce would impact their young kids. 

How do you know when the right time is for you? You can start by asking some hard questions:

  • Are you clear on the reasons why you’re considering a divorce? Have you experienced long-term issues in your marriage, or is this a response to a one-off conflict?
  • How is your marriage affecting your overall health and well-being?
  • Have you considered ways that you might turn things around, such as couples’ counseling?
  • Have you explored how your divorce would affect your kids or other loved ones, both positively and negatively? 
  • Have you considered how a divorce would affect you logistically and financially? 
  • Are you looking forward to starting a new life or dreading it? How do you envision your new life? 

Read: The Top 3 Reasons Couples Seek Counseling

What should I do next?

You may have powered through the holidays with a smile. But when the holidays end, you see your old reality staring back at you. 

That said, divorce is a big decision – one you’ll want to make based on many crucial factors. Look at all of your options, and make a choice that best aligns with where you are right now.

Can your marriage be saved?

If you and your spouse think your marriage still has a chance, giving yourself a little more time may be right. Put in the extra effort. Consider getting couples counseling to help guide you and offer you strategies for better communication. If you continue to move in the direction of a divorce, at least you’ll know you gave it your best shot.

Are you on the fence?

Divorce is rarely a clear-cut decision. Take time to understand what went wrong in your relationship, and take ownership of your part. In the meantime, you might consider a trial separation to get some space from the issues and each other. 

Discernment counseling is a type of couples therapy specifically designed for spouses who aren’t sure what their next steps should be. Another option is divorce coaching; a divorce coach can help you clarify with yourself whether divorce is the right path.

Read: Divorce Therapy vs. Coaching: How to Choose the Right Option for You

Have you made up your mind to divorce?

Chances are, if you’ve given divorce a lot of thought and prepared yourself emotionally and financially, you’ve made your decision. In this scenario, most people don’t want to waste any more time. They want to move on, and the first month of the year may be just the time to do it.

When you’re considering a divorce, it can be helpful to get some professional insight and support. Whether you want legal advice from an attorney, guidance from a divorce coach, or information about online divorce options, we are here for you. 

At Hello Divorce, we understand that the divorce process is not a one-size-fits-all process, and we never approach it that way. Schedule a free call to learn more. 

Divorce Content Specialist
Mediation, Divorce Strategy, Divorce Process, Mental Health
Candice is a former paralegal and has spent the last 16 years in the digital landscape, writing website content, blog posts, and articles for the legal industry. Now, at Hello Divorce, she is helping demystify the complex legal and emotional world of divorce. Away from the keyboard, she’s a devoted wife, mom, and grandmother to two awesome granddaughters who are already forces to be reckoned with. Based in Florida, she’s an avid traveler, painter, ceramic artist, and self-avowed bookish nerd.