Not to put a damper on the holiday spirit, but the truth is, the post-holiday season is prime time for splitting up. In fact, research suggests that divorce rates may increase by as much as 1/3 after the holidays, which means our office sees an uptick in calls and referrals. 

The question is, Why? What is it about the holiday season that results in more divorces

We’ve been in this business a long time, so we have our own opinions as to why we see a spike in divorces after the New Year’s Eve ball drops. Between our own observations and researched reasons, we’ve got 7 seasonal realities that might lead a couple to officially end their relationship with divorce. 

A white person sitting in a chair with their head in their hands

7 seasonal scenarios that can culminate in divorce

Although no two divorces are the same, they can share commonalities when it comes to motivation and cause. In the case of decisions to divorce after the holidays, we’ve found the following scenarios paved the way… 

The holidays are meant to be a happy time.

No one wants to feel like Scrooge or the Grinch during what is supposed to be a festive and special season. For that reason, many couples may choose to postpone filing for divorce until after the holidays to avoid disrupting family gatherings or causing additional stress during the festive season. They may want to maintain a sense of normalcy for their children or other family members. 

When familiarity doesn’t feel festive. 

Most of us take time off from work to celebrate the holidays, whether at home or away. This means couples find themselves with extended time together, which can lead to increased reflection on the state of their relationship. This may prompt individuals to reassess their feelings and make decisions about the future of their marriage. Sometimes, this determines that divorce is the best — or only — way forward. 

Increased stress and expectations underscore existing issues.

Sure, the holidays are supposed to be fun and festive, but even in the happiest of relationships, the holidays are stressful. Between financial pressures to celebrate in style (which often means in abundance), complicated family dynamics, and heightened expectations that everything be perfect, this seasonal stress can quickly exacerbate pre-existing marital issues, causing conflict and strain on the relationship.

Family dynamics can be fraught.

Couples who are used to living away from extended family might feel rather exposed when the holidays necessitate spending extended time together. In the case that interactions between parents, siblings, in-laws, etc., prove problematic, a couple might spend a great deal of effort keeping it all together in front of family, only to blow up once back home or behind closed doors. These dynamics can underscore existing marital issues or introduce problems that seem insurmountable. 

New Year’s resolutions inspire change. 

As much as the start of a new year sounds like a promising and positive milestone, it can also be a time of reflection and motivation to make a change. For many couples, the change they need can only be afforded by divorce. 

Financial considerations keep couples in a holiday holding pattern. 

As we’ve already acknowledged, the holiday season can be an expensive time for most couples. In this case, it makes sense that a couple would wait until the new year to move forward with their divorce. 

Our calendar is open—but things can get busy.

Celebrations aside, the holiday season is often a very busy time for legal professionals like us. Whether you know which firm you want to represent you or not, you might have to deal with a delay before you can come in for a consultation. 

Every divorce is unique and the holidays might not have anything to do with your decision. Whatever the motivating factor, we invite you to contact us for a consultation about your specific situation and to understand what getting divorced in NH requires.  

Contact us today to get a free consultation! 

Categories: Divorce

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