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Is January really Divorce Month?

Some residents of Los Angeles may naturally think of January as the month in which a lot of people decide to start the process of getting a divorce or legal separation.

While it is hard to pinpoint an exact reason why there is a heightened interest in divorce starting in January and lasting through September or so, there are a couple of thoughts circulating in the media.

For instance, some suggest that January's higher frequency of divorce filings has to do with the fact that many California couples will put off an impending split in the last three months of the year because of the seasonal holidays.

Particularly since many of these holidays are very child-focused, it can be hard for parents to break the news to their young ones that their lives are about to change profoundly. Thus, the number of divorce filings are higher in January because, in addition to those who would have filed regardless, there are those who put off filing are also now ready to go to the courthouse.

On the other hand, some have suggested that holidays like Christmas actually inspire people to end their relationships. The theory is that couples who are experiencing marital distress may use occasions like Christmas to try to salvage their relationships.

When it does not work out the way they hoped, it eliminates whatever emotional barriers there were to file for divorce or separation. People cite this theory to explain why March and August are actually the month with the most divorce filings, as they follow Valentine's Day and the typical summer vacation season.

Whatever the reason, there is statistical support for the notion that January is the month where divorce filings become significantly more common following a lengthy lull. While not the peak month for divorce filings, those in Los Angeles should still be aware that during this January, and for the several months following, they are more likely to need family law help.