The Month Most People Get Divorced — And Why

When is divorce season?

stressed out woman holding her head Max4e Photo | Shutterstock

There's a time and season for most things in the world and that includes big relationship moves. Most people equate the warmer months with "single season" because people are out mingling more and DUH, wearing fewer clothes, whereas winter months have been deemed "relationship season" because of time spent indoors cuddling and keeping warm.

But when is the most popular time for divorce? 

The month most people get divorced — and why.

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According to FindLaw, we might as well replace March on the calendar with "Divorce Month." The website, which is used for free legal information, says that it got a 50 percent boost in searches for the words "divorce, family law, and child custody" in March.

"While they've been thinking about divorce for some time, and taking steps such as obtaining marital counseling to save their marriage, many men and women may put off their decision to file to avoid additional stress during the holiday season," Mark Ohnstad, a Minneapolis attorney told FindLaw.

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It makes sense. We're told all our lives the holiday season is the time when everything is "magical" and it brings everyone together. The truth is it's also the time people suppress many problems they might be having in order to avoid ruining the holidays for everyone else. Also, lots of awkward conversations about divorce over holiday dinner. No, thank you! 

What other reasons are there for people getting divorced? For starters, the stress of in-laws, money troubles, and career challenges along with the pressures to “be happy” during the holiday season can lead to some men and women cheating on their spouses during this time.

A study on holiday depression noted that of those who cheat on their spouses, 56 percent of men and 42 percent of women do so during the holiday season, according to leading marriage therapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D., author of Makeup, Don’t Break Up.

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These affairs may trigger post-New Year’s divorce filings by spouses who discover the affairs or by the cheating spouse who now wants to end the marriage.

If you're wondering why January isn't divorce month instead (since technically all of the major holidays end in December) it's because people still want a date and gifts for Valentine's Day. Sneaky! If you're gonna divorce someone, you might as well get an expensive dinner before.

Another reason that many people don't get a divorce until after the holidays? It's related to income taxes, adds Ohnstad. Your marital status as of December 31 determines whether you’ll file a joint or an individual return for the prior year.


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Nicole Weaver is a senior writer for Showbiz Cheat Sheet whose work has been featured in New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, and more.