Divorce filings tend to spike in the New Year

Divorce can happen at any time of year, but Indiana residents and people across the nation should pay attention to statistical trends that might affect their situation. For many couples, the holidays are stressful and after the New Year, some will decide that they need to part ways and divorce. There are many factors that should be considered for those who are thinking about taking this step.

There is a known increase in divorce cases in January. This can be attributed to people seeking a fresh start as part of the New Year. It is a strategy to start over. The intense holiday season and stressors that are inherent during that time are frequently perceived as a catalyst, but these cases rarely arise in the holiday vacuum.

Stresses exacerbate tensions and send many beyond the breaking point. Legal professionals who handle divorce filings say there is nearly a 33 percent rise in filings post-New Year. Although families splitting up can be viewed as a negative, there are also positives with the decision to begin anew.

If a no-fault divorce is possible, as it is in Indiana, women have more power than they otherwise would. Statistically, with a no-fault divorce, the parties have an 8 percent higher chance of both having jobs outside the home. It is 5 percent more common that the wife will have a job. Even if one party is the homemaker -- male or female -- there are increased property rights in a divorce with no-fault cases. Marital violence is lower if a spouse has the right to file for divorce unilaterally.

There has been a steady decrease in divorce filings in the past four decades. In 1979, for every 1,000 married women, there were 23 divorces. That lowered to 15.7 in 2018. This is simultaneous to older people getting divorced in greater numbers. So-called, "gray divorces" are associated with people who are living longer and determining that they would prefer to move on from an unhappy marriage after age 65.

Although divorce can be difficult, there are benefits to starting over. When making the decision, there are many aspects to think about including property division, spousal support, child custody, visitation and more.

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