Divorce rates often rise after the New Year

The holiday season is not a popular time for couples to get divorced, but divorce filings start to increase after the New Year.

The holidays can be a stressful time of year for many families, as well as a joyful time. If couples in Spokane are already experiencing marital problems, holiday stress may only make them worse. This is one of many reasons that one out of every eight couples consider getting a divorce during the holiday season, according to a survey by a divorce mediation company.

Washington State, reports Statistic Brain, has the sixth highest divorce rate in the country at 12.5 percent. Despite this, people usually wait until after the holiday season is over before announcing their desire to split.

Children and finances prompt couples to wait until after holidays

According to the Washington Times, divorce filings across the country are typically sluggish through the holiday season but begin to pick up after the New Year and peak around March. Why do many people decide to postpone ending a marriage until after the holiday season? There are many reasons, which often include the following:

• A spouse may wish to time the divorce so a company bonus does not count as marital property.

• Couples are hesitant to ruin the holidays by announcing plans to divorce.

• People may wish for a fresh start after the New Year.

• They could be unsure whether they need a litigated or uncontested divorce, and may want more time to think about it.

• They may not be able financially to pursue a divorce until holiday expenses are behind them.

• Parents might not want to upset children during this time of year.

Children are, in fact, a major reason that couples wait until after the holiday season to seek a divorce. Not only do they not want to upset them during what should be a happy time, but the holidays can become more stressful for divorced parents. They will need to consider parenting plans that allow them to spend time with their children during the holidays - in most cases, holidays will be traded off or split between parents. For the time being, it may seem best to get through one more holiday with the family intact. After a divorce, family traditions will change and it may be a challenge to deal with holidays in a new way.

Fortunately, children tend to adjust well after a divorce when both parents are cooperative and understanding of their feelings. This is especially important when the holidays arrive and they will spend time in two households instead of one. An experienced Washington family law attorney may be able to help this transition go by more smoothly by advising divorcing couples of their options.