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  6.  | Why the holidays lead to a spike in Michigan divorce filings

Why the holidays lead to a spike in Michigan divorce filings

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2023 | Divorce

Almost everyone understands the stress the holidays can inspire. Families often travel to visit other loved ones during the holiday season. They may have expenses that strain their budget. The cost of traveling, the need to purchase gifts and the expenses caused by hosting during the holidays can overload people’s budgets and cause arguments between spouses.

For some families, that stress leads to conflict between the adults who grow resentful over handling those challenges alone or with minimal support from a spouse. Occasionally, one spouse decides to file for divorce not long after the holidays. Although divorce rates are at a 60-year low in Michigan, many people begin the divorce process in January, often for a few common reasons.

People have already made the decision

The most obvious reason why one spouse files for divorce right after the holidays is that they had already made that decision before Christmas or likely even before Thanksgiving. However, either because of existing plans or concern for children, they decided to wait to file until after the end of the holiday season. People may spend the holidays trying to work through their issues with their spouse or gather the documentation they need to pursue a divorce in the new year.

The stress of the holidays forces the decision

A period of reflection is common as the holidays approach or as people enjoy time away from work. Many adults will take stock of their lives, find things to feel grateful for and begin setting goals for the future. A review of the last year or last several years might lead someone to conclude that their marriage has a net negative effect on their life. Particularly when the holidays trigger conflict between spouses, people may start to rethink their relationships toward the end of the year.

Disappointment with the holidays can also potentially lead to a divorce filing. Someone consistently frustrated by or disappointed with their spouse might expect them to make up for it with a special holiday celebration. When the holidays disappoint or possibly trigger a substance abuse issue in either spouse, people may start questioning whether it is time to move on from a dysfunctional marriage.

Many people start talking with divorce lawyers in January, but it may take several months before they are ready to file divorce paperwork. Understanding the correlation between holiday celebrations and divorce filings may help people evaluate whether their thoughts of divorce are impulsive or possibly a sign of a deeper underlying issue with their marriage.