Divorce Month and Divorce Month Dumpers

According to American studies and courts, January is considered “divorce month”. The idea behind divorce month is that people have had Christmas with their family, only just tolerated the time with their spouse and want to start the new year with a new life chapter. American courts have noted that people filing for divorce swells in January and peak in February and March(1). According to Business Insider(2) and Psychology Today(3), their research also reported an increase in online dating from January 4!

Australia isn’t too different from America. People often have similar reactions to the festive season. Unfortunately, the Australian Bureau of Statistics hasn’t surveyed for the details of separation dates, divorce lodgements and associated trends.

Christmas and the festive season has financial pressures, pressures from in-laws, an excessive and intensive family time, which can cause some individuals to explode, unravel or implode! Understanding the movements in western society, the social pressures and festivities, there are three types of impending ‘divorce month’ dumpers:

  1. Holiday Glow. Public holidays, forced Christmas closures and intensive family time together often placates the needy partner. It is a time of year when they get time with their partner who works too hard during the week and gives them a ‘holiday glow’. Their ‘let down’ is likely to occur in February or March, when life resumes to the usual routine and the disappointment and neediness is in full force again
  2. Tight-rope Walkers. These individuals celebrate Christmas by tolerating the in-laws, quietly (or not very quietly) loathing family time together and impatient for school to return, work to resume and life to back into routine. These couples often set New Year Resolutions to starting over and for new beginnings
  3. Man-overboard! These are the abrupt and surprising divorces which occur in mid-December. These individuals don’t want to spend Christmas with their spouse or the spouse’s family. They don’t want to be in their spouse’s presence. They just want out and will go to any length to get it. These individuals may plan their ideal Christmas, either alone or with friends at home or overseas.

Let’s not forget about the ‘dumpee’, the person who was broken up with. The challenge for the dumpee is that they were not privy to the thought process of the dumper and ‘after-the-fact’ they are having to play catch-up mentally and emotionally while having to adjust to the new status-quo.

While ending a marriage or long-term union around the festive season is scary and daunting, divorcing later in the year wouldn’t make the process any easier. I am often reminded that people and families are often better to be in two separate homes and happy rather than together (for whatever the individual reasons may be) and be very unhappy. Christmas and the holiday period is a time of family, quality-time and for making special memories. Try to make the most of a potentially challenging situation and make the best of your time and experiences.

If you or someone you know are newly separated, the Divorce Answered Free Separation Checklist can offer some tips, suggestions and guides for getting prepared and stepping off on the right foot.

(1) https://www.marketwatch.com/story/divorce-filings-jump-by-one-third-in-january-2015-01-05 (2) https://www.businessinsider.com.au/january-is-divorce-month-are-you-next-2017-1?r=US&IR=T (3) https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-fitness/201001/why-is-january-divorce-month


This is general advice only and is not provided as legal advice. If you have a legal issue, you should contact a lawyer and/or accountant before making a decision about what to do or applying to the Court. DivorceAnswered.com.au cannot provide legal advice. If you have an emergency situation, please contact Emergency '000'. © Divorce Pty Ltd