This Is the Time of Year Couples Are Most Likely to Get Divorced

After the holidays, couples are most likely to throw in the towel on their relationships.

"When it is time for a season to change, the imperfections of life are most visible," is a quote by Sue Detweiler, author of 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom: Replacing My Worst with God's Best. And what she wrote seems to hold true in a study about the seasonality of divorce, which was presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA) in 2016.

Researchers looked at divorce filings in Washington state between 2001 and 2015 and found they consistently peaked in March and August, the months that follow winter and summer holidays. They were also significantly higher in January compared to December.

Indeed, January has been unofficially dubbed "divorce month" by matrimonial attorneys, according to a January 2020 article from Business Insider. That's because the attorneys see an uptick in clients during these months.

Couple Having Conflicts Looking Down as Daugher Stands Between Them Hiding Her Face Behind A Pillow
Westend61/Getty Images

What's more, analytics website Google Trends reports that more people search "divorce" online between January 6 and January 12.

What's the reason behind the trend? Julie Brines, associate sociology professor at the University of Washington, explained in a press release that those times "represent periods in the year when there's the anticipation or the opportunity for a new beginning, a new start, something different, a transition into a new period of life." Indeed, for some people, a "new start" may mean ending their current relationship with divorce.

Another possible reason for the uptick in January divorces: couples want to wait until after the holiday festivities are over to separate.

Perhaps if couples know these months may present huge challenges in their relationships, they would be able to seek counseling to prevent divorce. What's your take on this trend?

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles