January is the coldest month of the year in more ways than one. The first month of the new year is also the time of year that most people start their divorce process and choose to separate.
Perhaps there wasn’t much glue holding their marriage together anyway and now that the tinsel and stockings are put away, relationships come into a sharper focus. For better or worse, the numbers prove that “Divorce Month” is real. And it is not by accident. Here are some of the reasons behind the Divorce Month Phenomena.
- Paying the holiday bills. Christmas and the holidays are expensive. Guaranteed on the first of the month, the bills began arriving in the mail. After the shopping , the excesses and the traveling, you sit down to take care of the bills of the past month and do a face palm wondering how you spent so much. Money is one of the main reasons people separate and the handful of “Due Now’s” is often the instigator.
- Too much togetherness! Most people have their set routines and too much togetherness means that they get in each other’s way. A few weeks of close confinement under the pretense of happiness, literally smothers some people and pushes true feelings and personalities to the surface causing them to want to bust loose come January.
- Am I getting anywhere? January is often a measuring stick by which people tend to assess where they are in their lives. It is when people realize that they are again in the same place that they were at this time last year and make decisions to ensure that they are not in the same place this time next year. Separation happens when people think, “I just can’t take another year like this.”
- The New Year’s Resolution. Along the same lines, this is the time for year-end reflections and new year resolutions. When people have been unhappy for a long time, the new year is the perfect time to finally choose their own happiness… even if it means first addressing a difficult separation.
- The Holidays were a stressful let down. The holidays are supposed to be a magical time, but more often they are tiring, tense and terse. The bustle and busyness just made the fractures glaringly apparent. For many emotions run high and the holidays push those feelings to the breaking point.
- Christmas is for the Kids. You may have been thinking about separation for months but separating before the impending holiday just seemed “cruel” for the children. Instead people mentally commit to giving the kids one last “happy holiday” as an intact family. In reality the Holidays may not have actually been that “happy” and arguments in front of the children may have convinced you that being together is actually worse for the children.
- Because the Holidays were supposed to ‘fix’ the marriage. Some couples think that this time of the year is romantic and will put their marriage back on track. Often couples have false expectations and think miracles will happen during the holidays. Separations happen when reality sets in.
- Planning around the children’s schedule. January means that the children are back in school, back in daycare, back in sports and busy with all kinds of activities. They have routines, places to be and schedules to keep them occupied. There may never be a “right time” for separation but often January proves to be the “best time” for children to face a family separation.
- Gained weight and winter depression. During the Summer holidays it is possible to get outside and enjoy the sun, but it’s not the same in the Winter. Add to this, the fact that we often gain extra pounds over the Christmas holidays and this can leave people at the mercy of cabin fever, Seasonal Affective Disorder (depression from lack of sunlight) and feeling fat. Bottom line, by January, people are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
- You have met the enemy and thy name is “in-law.” The little comment from Aunt Myrtle, the crack on the way your turkey is not like mom’s turkey, the brother in law that overstayed his welcome, the uncle that drank too much… again! It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Quite simply you don’t want to be a part of that family anymore.
What It Means When Your Spouse Suggests Mediation
- Mediation is typically cheaper than lawyers or the courts
- Mediation tends to be the faster divorce process
- The courts will require you to consider mediation first
- Mediation has an excellent success rate
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