Statistically speaking, divorces begin picking up around New Year’s day, and steadily escalating up until about Valentine’s Day. What is the most romantic day of the year for some, then, could very easily turn out to be the worst day ever for those served with divorce papers when they were expecting candy and cards. The truth is that there’s no right time to get divorced. There’s always a holiday around the corner, a major life stressor, a child’s birthday, or some other reason that filing just seems cruel. But many people opt to divorce around Valentine’s Day specifically because they want to avoid cruelty. There are several potential explanations for this strange phenomenon.

The Push for a Better New Year

New Year’s brings with it big plans for a better life and a fresh start. People trapped in bad marriages, then, may see filing for divorce as the first step toward this new life. Sure, the process is painful, but it does offer a clean relationship slate, and some spouses are so eager to move froward with their lives that they’re ready to file as soon as the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Day. 

Surviving the Holidays

No one wants to get divorced during the holiday season. Serving your spouse with papers a week before Christmas seems especially cruel, and there’s no living person who looks forward to seeing their kids go through their first divorced Christmas. For couples embroiled in unhappy relationships, then, the urge to divorce may increase as soon as the holidays are gone. 

Avoiding More Romance

No one wants to turn their life into a charade, faking a happy, romantic life when the relationship is sour or miserable. For some would-be divorcées, then, Valentine’s Day commercials serve as a cogent reminder that it’s time to get the ball rolling. Some don’t want to fake it anymore. Others see no point in spending money on someone they’ll soon be leaving. And still others may not want to cope with the annual pressure to get the right Valentine’s Day gift. 

Mere Coincidence

Men and women whose spouses filed for divorce around Valentine’s Day are often quick to attribute the decision to bad intentions. But V-Day isn’t a major holiday for everyone, and the decision could be purely coincidental. It’s painful, no doubt, to receive divorce papers, but is it any better to receive them after the most romantic night of the year? There’s no great time for divorce, and some would-be filers are so eager to get it out of the way that they don’t give much thought to the right filing time.