At the beginning of a new year, many people make resolutions designed to improve their quality of life. Exercising more, eating more vegetables and trying new hobbies are common resolutions. However, many Americans are working on a resolution that may surprise you: divorce.

January is typically a busy month for divorce lawyers. Following the excitement and busyness of the holidays, divorce attorneys traditionally see a marked increase in the number of people who want to meet with them, learn about the divorce process and file papers.

Why is there a spike in the divorce rate in January? Some speculate that many couples want to stay together and preserve a feeling of family for the children during the holidays. Wanting to avoid a major disruption in the family dynamic at a time of year that is known for celebration, they often wait until the festivities are over before pursuing divorce and child custody actions.

Others attribute the increased interest in divorce to financial reasons. Money is one of the most common sources of disagreement among married couples. Therefore, when the economy suffered, it stands to reason that marriages have suffered. But why would the divorce rate increase in January? Let’s face it – the holidays can be expensive. Between gifts for friends and family members and lavish dinners, putting together money to file divorce can be a challenge for some.

Regardless of the reason that more people are filing divorces in January, the important thing to acknowledge is that people are making a decision about what is best for them, as well as their families. They are taking decisive action that will help them reach the next phase of their lives.

Source:, “The Business of Divorce,” Kristi Nelson, 20 Jan. 2011