For many people, New Year’s is about starting over and for some that includes their relationships. Studies show that the number of couples filing for divorce increases in the month of January.
Attorney Ashley Phillips expects an increase in family cases following the holidays. He’s already received several calls from clients.
“Often times people realize when they’re stuck in small spaces with the people they’re married to or perhaps have to work with for child issues how much they just can’t work with these people anymore.”
Phillips says besides an increase in divorce cases, the new year also brings child custody disputes.
“People want to spend Christmas morning with their children,” says Phillips. “You don’t get two Christmas mornings…for a lot of people who weren’t getting along to begin with it’s a time when those feelings just come bursting out and they see that changes have to be made”
Michelle Hernandez, a local counselor, says she’s seen an increase in clients seeking relationship advice during the holidays.
“That gives people a little bit of a reality check or they gain some perspective. People tend to be a little bit more I think introspective around holiday time just like they are around a significant birthday or anniversary where they’re thinking you know is this how I really want my life to go.”
Hernandez suggests couples talk to each other first about their marriage and consider all options.
“I think seeking counsel from a pastor priest or professional therapist can definitely be helpful at least to make sure you really are making the right decision.”
Hernandez is also a counselor for the catholic divorce recovery program for the diocese of Lafayette.