Starting fresh is a common theme for many people around the New Year. From resolutions to spend more time outdoors or to watch less TV, turning over a new leaf might entail much more for some Illinois couples. As it turns out, the start of the New Year is the right time for a lot of couples to finally file for divorce.

There are no definitive reasons why January is so popular for people to pursue a much needed divorce but speculation abounds. From a practical standpoint, waiting can make sense for those who suspect that they might have a difficult divorce. Divorce courts tend to be closed more throughout the holiday season, meaning those that need to proceed to litigation would have to wait, drawing out the divorce process.

For others, the availability of court may have nothing to do with it. Some couples, particularly parents, might simply want to have one last holiday season together. Every couple and divorce process is different, which can make waiting the appropriate choice for some.

While there is no one particular time that is right for every Illinois couple to divorce, many apparently find that the start of a New Year is the right choice. In Jan. 2015 alone, divorce filings have already increased by at least 27 percent. For those who waited until court availability was more open, it can still be beneficial to attempt to settle at least certain disputes through alternative dispute resolutions such as mediation or a collaborative divorce. Although they may not be able to hammer out every aspect of a divorce settlement, doing so can give them more control over the final and ultimate terms of their divorce proceedings.

Source:, “Why January is a popular month to file for divorce“, Quentin Fottrell, Jan. 6, 2015