Does January have the highest divorce rate?

The short answer is Yes – January has the highest number of couples filing for divorce than any other time of the year. There are multiple reasons why.


Many couples, especially those with children, choose to delay formalizing the end of of their marriage in order to have one last “family holiday” before they take the very difficult step to go their separate ways. In many other cases, unhappy spouses might take a look at where their life is going and decide they do not wish to spend another year in a difficult marriage. Many others will find the stress of the holidays and obligations that come with it are the tipping point; the arrival of January then culminates in bitter feelings and a decision to take the next step.

Choose Divorce Carefully

But putting all the above reasons aside, the decision of when to end a marriage needs to be made carefully. Ideally, it should be made when one is feeling psychologically strong. Ironically, the dark month of January, with it’s high divorce rates, is also known as the month when the average person, married or not, are most at risk for depression and feelings of loneliness and despair. It is important to keep this in mind if a couple chooses to initiate the end of their marriage. Divorce is not an “end point”; it is a journey that is best done with the support of others – both formal or informal supports.

Seek Help When Considering Divorce

It is important to reach out to friends and family for emotional support. But keep in mind that the nature of the advice they can give can be coloured by their history with you and your spouse. Couples who are separating often benefit from impartial professional counselling to help them navigate this difficult journey. For example, how does a couple best communicate the decision to their children? How can they have calm and productive conversations about parenting roles and the division of assets when poor communication and distrust have landed them where they are? None of these are simple nor are they easily managed.

Our advice is to Reach Out.  At Waypoint, we have many counsellors with specialized training in couples therapy, separation and divorce.  It is tricky.  How do you find someone that will work with both of you to sort out parenting issues?  Or is it better to see someone separately to tease apart the challenging feelings each of you have?  There is no easy answer.  Contact us if you feel you need some support in choosing a counsellor.  We have counsellors with offices in Greater Victoria, Vancouver, and Kelowna.  The tangles of emotional turmoil can be sorted through, the pitfalls of rash decisions can be avoided, and strategies developed to strengthen you as you continue on this journey.