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January Divorce Spike

january divorce spike

Unravelling the January Divorce Spike: A Closer Look at the New Year’s Resolution Effect

Welcome to the first blog post of 2024! With the festive season coming to an end, sadly many marriages are too. Has January become the month for marriages to end? As the new year unfolds, many people across the globe embark on a journey of self-reflection and resolution-setting. While resolutions commonly revolve around health, finances, or personal growth, it can also spark a particular phenomenon – a spike in divorce. But what is it that lies beneath the surface of this movement, and why do couples choose to part ways as the calendar turns a new page?

This blog explains why people might look at January to divorce and to also some hints in tips on how you can move forward in a positive and conciliatory way, particularly if there are children involved.

New Year, new start?

The start of a new year often brings a sense of renew and a fresh perspective on life. Couples may enter January with a heightened awareness of their own happiness and the desire for a positive change. This new-found self-awareness can sometimes lead individuals to re-evaluate their relationships and confront long-standing issues that have been festering beneath the surface.

Societal expectations surrounding the holiday season, along with family gatherings can also add pressure to struggling couples. There may have been whispers of tension long before your Christmas tree went up, but with the pressure to present a united front during festive occasions, it may cause individuals to delay their decision to divorce until after the holidays. As January arrives, and those whispers become louder and more difficult to ignore, the desire to start afresh and break free from the façade becomes more palpable, therefore promoting a surge in divorce filings.

The financial strain of the holiday season with the pressure to create the ‘perfect Christmas’, combined with the burden of New Year resolutions, can expose existing fissures in a marriage. Couples may confront the reality of their financial situation and realise that they are unable to achieve their individual goals or overcome shared challenges together. This financial reckoning can act as a catalyst for divorce discussions.

You may have found that along with the issues faced with the cost-of-living crisis, overindulgence of alcohol during the festive season, and increased leisure time with your family indoors only adds fuel to the fire. With the removal of the outside noise of day-to-day working life, you are left with no choice but to confront the problems that are in front of you, and to consider whether you are happy with your current situation. It is times like this where the gloss of the Christmas period, that retailers so desperately try to promote, is being stripped away and the reality of so many is being brought to an abrupt head. The fact is, just like life in general, not all Christmases are created equally, and many others will be facing similar issues during this time.

This means that it is often the month of January that can inspire a longing for a fresh start and a chance to rebuild your life. It is a time where people reflect on the past year, questioning whether the things that once made them happy still fulfil them, and if they don’t, then what better a time for a fresh start than the New Year. Divorce can represent the opportunity to embark on a new chapter, unencumbered by the challenges and disappointments of the past. The prospect of a clean slate can be a powerful motivator during the early months of the year.

Perhaps many of you reading this blog have children, and for many of you this will make the holidays that much more difficult, as those pressures of being a ‘happy family’ are that much more enhanced. As difficult as it is, staying together for the sake of your children is never advisable. If you are someone who has decided to embark this new journey, you may look toward co-parenting. While it can be challenging, it is also rewarding, and the New Year is an excellent time to reassess and enhance your co-parenting strategies.

Tips for Co-parenting

We have a few tips for effective co-parenting in the new year, but remember it takes time and you may need to work out some kinks first, but patience is a virtue:

1. Communication is Key

Open and honest communication is the foundation of successful co-parenting. Keep each other informed about important events, changes in schedules, and any concerns relating to your children. Establish a reliable and consistent communication method that works for both parents.

2. Create a Shared Calendar

Utilise digital tools or a shared calendar to keep track of your children’s activities, school events, and visitation schedules. A shared calendar can reduce the risk of any misunderstandings and helps both parents to stay organised.

3. Set Clear Expectations

Establish clear expectations regarding parenting responsibilities, schedules, and rules. Consistency between households provides stability for children, so try to maintain similar routines and expectations between both homes.

4. Be Flexible and Willing to Compromise

Flexibility is crucial in co-parenting. Unexpected events may arise, and being willing to adapt to changes demonstrates a cooperative attitude. If adjustments are needed, communicate openly and work together to find solutions.

5. Prioritise the Children’s Well-being

Keep the focus on what is best for the children. Avoid involving them in conflicts between parents and prioritise their emotional and physical well-being. Remember the importance of encouraging a positive relationship between the children and the other parent involved.

6. Seek Mediation for Disagreements

If conflicts arise that cannot be resolved through communication, you may want to consider seeking the assistance of a mediator. Mediation can help facilitate constructive conversations and find mutually agreeable solutions.


Remember that co-parenting is a journey and an on-going process that requires effort, flexibility, and a commitment to the well-being of your children. By implementing these tips, you can start the new year with a positive and cooperative approach to co-parenting.

The January divorce spike is a complex phenomenon influenced by a combination of factors: the New Year’s Resolution Effect, societal pressures, financial strain (protecting and securing your future financial comfort is key during the divorce process), and the desire for a fresh start. Understanding these dynamics gives us an insight into the psychology behind the surge in divorce filings during the first month of the year. As couples navigate the challenges of relationships, the new year becomes a pivotal time for self-reflection, growth, and the pursuit of happiness. Of course, we wish for everyone to have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, but we understand that this is not always realistic, and so we hope that this blog can offer you some comfort that you are not alone during this season, and it is never too late to make a change and put your happiness first.

For specialist advice on any family law related issue contact Maguire Family Law by email: or telephone:

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