It has long been accepted that more couples file for divorce in January that at any other time of the year and that paralegals, solicitors and all others that work within the ‘divorce arena’ will be quite literally snowed under during the coldest months of the year.
What few have posited on, though, is why January is such a busy month for divorce practitioners. Some of the reasons are self-explanatory, of course. The stress of Christmas and the ensuing financial hardship certainly contribute. As does the fact that otherwise unhappy couples are almost obliged to spend time with one another whilst deprived of other distractions. What is all too apparent, however, is that few, if any, sophisticated theories have been put forward to explain the phenomenon of the ‘January divorce’.
One logical explanation is that couples refrain from filing for a divorce until their children have enjoyed one more Christmas together as a family. I have encountered this particular situation on numerous occasions and whilst these parents’ intentions are undeniably noble, they rarely bear positive results.
Once a couple have arrived at the decision to divorce, the resentment between them almost invariably flourishes when they continue to live together in the hope of maintain a façade. This, naturally, creates a tense atmosphere within the family home that Christmas alone simply cannot dissipate. Children, perceptive as they are, will notice this and their festive experienced will be tainted as a result.
Rather than postpone their divorce, a couple in this situation should inform their children of their intention to separate and, if possible, still spend Christmas day together as a family. If the couple feel that they will be unable to be civil to one another, however, then they should create practicable and alternative arrangements such as the children spending Christmas Day with one parent and then spending Boxing Day with the other. An alternative Christmas is better than a miserable one, after all.
Well, this may not have been a sophisticated examination of why so many couples file for divorce in January, but it’s certainly useful advice.
The Divorce Blogger writes for Quickie Divorce, the UK’s leading provider of online divorce