Why do divorce rates tend to increase after the holidays?

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2023 | Family Law

After the holiday season comes divorce season. Many family law attorneys in Texas see a massive influx of new clients seeking representations for divorce proceedings after the first of the year. These meetings lead to countless new divorce proceedings in the upcoming year.

Although technically divorces can occur at any point, many people specifically choose to begin the process or file their paperwork right after the holiday season. Why do so many divorces occur shortly after the beginning of the new year?

Parents don’t want to ruin the holidays

Perhaps the simplest reason that divorce filings spike after the holidays is intentional planning. No one wants to spend every holiday get-together explaining where their spouse is and why they chose to get divorced. Especially if the family unit includes minor children, parents are often reticent to dampen holiday celebrations by announcing a divorce right before Thanksgiving or Christmas. People will often try to stick it out for a few extra months to give their children a positive holiday experience. Even those without children may wait until after the holidays to avoid affecting other’s celebrations.

Travel and gifts add to existing stress

Financial disagreements are a leading cause of spousal conflict. People often spend more than they can afford around the holidays. Overextending the family budget and taking on a lot of debt can exacerbate attention between spouses. The holidays often come with travel as well. The stress of vacations, long-distance travel and the expenses those trips generate also have an association with increased divorce risk.

Finally, some people hope that the holidays are when a spouse who has disappointed them or withdrawn from the relationship will demonstrate their commitment and affection levels. When the holidays end up being a disappointment, someone may realize that they will never get what they want from their marriage or their spouse.

Those preparing to divorce after the new year begins may want to begin taking practical steps to protect themselves even before they start planning an actual filing. Understanding the underlying causes of modern divorce trends may help people better understand their situation and their needs as they seek to end an unsatisfying marriage.