Why do divorce rates spike in January and March?

While it might come as a shock to some of our readers that divorces spike in January and March, the rest of our readers understand why more couples choose to say "I don't" in these two months than any others. And to help our more surprised readers, we wanted to focus this week's post on what makes these months so litigious.

One reason, which may be more obvious than most people think, is because many divorcing couples want to wait until after the holidays to divorce so as to save face in front of their family. Not very many people here in Kentucky want to be that person who files for divorce just before Christmas, which is a sentiment shared by others across the nation.

Another, perhaps less obvious reason is because of taxes. Because most married couples file their taxes jointly, a divorce before the New Year could result in complicated tax returns. This is often another compounding frustration many couples do not want to have to deal with, especially if discussions about the divorce process have already started. It's worth noting that many people receive bonuses at the end of the year as well, which is a potential asset some divorcing couples may not want to miss out on before separating from their spouse.

But what about March? Why are divorce rates so high so far after the New Year? Some marriage experts believe that it's not until after the next year has begun that they realize they want to file for divorce. When this ends up being the case, they begin planning immediately for the process head. But careful planning and discussions about how the divorce will be settled can take several months before filing the final paperwork, which could be the reason divorce rates spike in March as well.

While it's important to point out that not all marriages follow this pattern, it's worth noting that many people across the nation share the same rationales about waiting to file for divorce until after the New Year. As a result, this means January and March may never earn more appealing nicknames than the "Divorce Months."

Source: CNN News, "In January, 'ex' marks the spot," Sarah LeTrent, Jan. 17, 2014