The new year brings with it for many people a desire for a better life in the upcoming 12 months. People resolve to make changes to their daily habits, their career trajectory or even their personal lives. For a surprising number of people, the new year leads to the decision to end their marriage.

Every year, the month of January sees a substantial uptick in the number of divorce filings across the country, and 2020 will likely reinforce this trend yet again. If you find yourself thinking about the end of your marriage at the beginning of January, you will not be alone.

Attorney consultations and online searches about divorce spike in January

The month of January is annually a time when people express more interest in divorce than at any other point throughout the year. Research has shown that attorneys usually have the highest traffic for new consultations and divorce inquiries in the first weeks of the new year.

Google has also highlighted the trend of divorce searches peaking in the week that runs from January 6 to 12. People also tend to file for divorce more frequently in January than in December, as well as making a public or official statement about their intent to divorce in the weeks after the holidays end.

The holidays can be a reason to wait or a reason to file

The holiday season can put a lot of strain even on the healthiest and happiest of relationships. From the spending to the traveling and the disappointed expectations tied to holiday gift-giving, a bad Christmas and New Year’s season can have heavy implications for a marriage already struggling.

The stress of being together with your spouse during those days off of work and shouldering all of the extra responsibilities that come with the holidays can increase resentment between spouses and make it more likely for one to want to file after the holidays pass.

For other people, the holidays may not be the reason they want to file, but they may be the reason they file in January. Whether someone wants to get the Christmas present they anticipate from their spouse or they want to protect their children from associating the holidays with the end of their parents’ marriage, many people often consciously make a decision to wait until after the holidays to notify their spouse or children about their desire for a divorce.

Many also wait to take any official action, such as speaking with an attorney or filing the initial paperwork with the courts, until after the holiday season is over. Regardless of which category you fall into, taking action for your own happiness in the upcoming year is a great resolution.