In January, many people decide to give up something: alcohol, cigarettes, sweets, or even their spouses.

In Germany, the first month of the year is known as the "month of divorce." Is there any truth to this assumption and what is the situation in Luxembourg? Our colleagues from interviewed family lawyer Deidre Du Bois to find out.

While Du Bois wouldn't necessarily use the term "favourite month," she does confirm that many people schedule appointments in January.

Du Bois theorises that this could be related to people's general desire to start the new year in a different way and make resolutions once Christmas is over.

A divorce usually does not come out of nowhere, and people often have the thought in the back of their minds for some time before they decide to visit a lawyer. "It's a decision that no one takes lightly," Du Bois says, "as I always say, no one has ever come into my office and said, 'I got married to get a divorce'. Even if you are the one seeking it or have found another partner, it's still difficult to take the first step and make that decision."

When presented with a difficult decision, most people want to get it over with. "But you can't drop that bombshell before the holidays. So you make sure those are behind you, so that at least for one last time, things are going well at home for the kids, and then January is that month when you say: right, now's the time," Du Bois explains.

According to Du Bois, most divorces occur either when the children are still relatively young or when the children are about to  leave home. Many couples live apart and no longer see any point in their marriage.

Official figures in Luxembourg show that the number of divorces decreased between 2021 and 2022. This is somewhat surprising given that the last two years have not been easy, a sentiment shared by Du Bois.

"I had the impression that people had suffered enormously as a result of the crisis and had taken a lot on themselves," the lawyer says, adding that "there are a lot of people who take a back seat and don't look after their happiness or needs, but they just make sure the family gets through it somehow."

In January, the word 'divorce' is also supposedly typed into Google more frequently than in other months of the year. And if the relationship really doesn't work anymore, then going to the lawyer may still be the best solution, especially if there are children involved.