For people in incredibly strained marriages, the phrase “Happy Holidays” can be like nails on a chalkboard, leaving many desiring a unique New Year’s resolution: divorce. If this is the case for you, you are not alone. In fact, January is typically the most popular month for divorce in states across the nation, including here in California.

In addition to being the fresh start to a new year, January 1st is a popular date for the start of many divorce petitions for a number of reasons:

  1. The holidays are over. Even the unhappiest of couples typically wait until after Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and other holidays to file for divorce. Whether it is to give the children one last opportunity to spend time as a family before things change forever, or because tensions during the holidays are high enough without adding divorce into the mix.
  2. Court dates are easier to come by. As a 2015 MarketWatch article explains, filing for divorce in November and December can be a challenge when there are only “three weeks of court time available.” Waiting until after the start of the New Year means more opportunities to finalize a divorce or seek help from the courts when matters are contested.
  3. January is the start of the new tax year. Divorce can have a substantial effect on your taxes, thrusting you into a new tax bracket or even requiring you to file separately. It stands to reason that so many choose to wait until January to make their divorce final so as to avoid making mistakes that could turn problematic later on.

While the post-holiday month of January may seem like the perfect time to divorce, the decision to dissolve your marriage should only be made after careful consideration. Stress from the holidays can easily exacerbate tensions, making the decision to divorce a reactionary move rather than a carefully thought out decision. Remember: the best time to get a divorce is when you are ready and not because it is convenient or because it is during a popular time.