Here's why so many marriages fall apart in January and how you can get through it (Lindsay Dodgson)

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  • Monday, January 6 has been dubbed "Divorce Day."

  • It's because Google search and family lawyers see a surge of divorce inquiries on the first working Monday back of the year.

  • Breakup coach Cherlyn Chong said there are several reasons to explain this. For one, people may just want to give their partner one last happy Christmas and New Year's Eve before saying goodbye.

  • The holiday period can also be very stressful, which exacerbates many of the flaws already apparent in a marriage.

  • Even if you're past the point of resolution, divorce doesn't have to be the worst thing in the world. "It just means that you're giving yourself the chance to be happier, and you shouldn't fault yourself for that," Chong said.

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The first Monday of the year when people drag themselves back to work isn't just bad because the realities of New Year's resolutions to rid our bodies of cheese and wine have set in. It's also earned the name "Divorce Day," as family lawyers have noticed a particularly high number of people inquiring about leaving their partners that flood in.

This year, while "Dating Sunday," the best day to be on dating apps, was on January 5, "Divorce Day" lands on January 6.

"It's the day where couples who were tolerating each other during the intense holiday season decide that they want to start the new year afresh," breakup coach Cherlyn Chong told Insider, "resulting in a surge of divorce inquiries to Google search and divorce lawyers alike."

It might seem strange that so many people think about dissolving their marriage at the same time. But according to Chong, there are some clear reasons why it makes sense.

"Sometimes, they are doing it so that the children will have one last holiday season together," she said. "Other times, one spouse feels guilty about ending the relationship over the festivities."

They probably still care for their partner, so want to give them one last Christmas and New Year together before they say goodbye, she said, "almost a homage to the number of years they've spent together."

'The holidays tend to shine a spotlight on what's already broken'

On the other hand, the holiday period means an extended amount of time spent with family, which can be especially stressful.

This has the tendency to escalate many of the flaws in a marriage, Chong said. Just ask Tana Mongeau and Jake Paul.

"Usually these flaws were pre-existing long before the holidays, it's just that the holidays tend to shine a spotlight on what's already broken," she said. "And then one spouse decides that they don't want to spend another holiday season in an unhappy marriage anymore."

There's also a chance the January blues are factoring into the decision, according to Chong.

"One spouse might question their whole life because they have been triggered by the January blues," she said. "However, if you want to file for divorce, that's usually something that has been brewing for a while in the marriage, and the January blues will just urge you into action."

Tana Jake
Tana Jake

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The pros and cons

Chong said overall, there are probably more pros than cons in waiting until "Divorce Day" to break the news of a split to your partner.

"If you had officially filed for a divorce on Christmas Day, for example, that trauma might carry on to the next year, where the children might remember Christmas as 'the time mum and dad got a divorce' and so shun away from it," she said. "Their favourite memories around their special holiday might be tainted by this one memory."

She said it's also devastating to be informed of the divorce when there's so much cheer around.

"If your soon-to-be-ex is informed of the divorce at the start of the year, they can choose to make it a year of self-growth," she said.

"On the other hand, they might feel cheated that you held onto your feelings until after the new year, especially if they were under the impression that, despite any arguments that happened, you still enjoyed the holidays with them."

You don't have to fear divorce

Having feelings of breaking up doesn't necessarily mean divorce is on the cards. Chong advised you should look back on your marriage and ask yourself if there's still any love there. But even if you're past the point of resolution, that doesn't have to be the worst thing in the world.

"It's time for new beginnings, and just because it's the ending of something that wasn't working doesn't mean that it's a bad thing," Chong said. "It just means that you're giving yourself the chance to be happier, and you shouldn't fault yourself for that."

She said it is possible for couples to reconcile after one has decided they want out, but only "if both spouses are willing to work on the relationship and invest in a good couple's therapist."

"Both must be willing to work together to overcome any negativity in a marriage," she said. "And more often than not, that's easier said than done."

Read more:

January is unofficially considered 'divorce month' in legal circles due to a peak in filings. Here's a divorce lawyer's advice on how to survive your own separation.

I'm a full-time 'divorce concierge' who shepherds individuals through tricky splits. This is what my day-to-day routine looks like.

'Dating Sunday' is the best day of the year to be on dating apps, and it's almost here

4 steps to getting over a breakup in 30 days or less

14 reasons you're not getting over your ex — even if they were totally wrong for you

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