In the 1970s, country star Merle Haggard had a smash hit with a song called, “If We Make It Through December.” The song addresses a struggling couple, with the singer remarking that surviving the holidays would save the marriage. The tune also plays on the traditional spike in divorce filings during the first couple of months of the year.

If you have been thinking about divorcing your spouse, you may not be alone. While March and August typically have the highest number of divorce filings in the United States, January and February are not far behind. Here are some reasons for the increase in early-year divorces:

A waiting game 

The time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day should be magical and fun. If you do not want to hurt or disappoint your spouse during the holiday season, you may wait until early January to proceed with a divorce.

A hectic schedule 

The holidays are usually busy. Not only must you continue to juggle work, family and other obligations, but you must also make time for special functions. If you have already decided to divorce your partner, you simply may not have enough time to do so until January or February.

A last hope 

During the final months of any year, there are often several opportunities to reconnect with your spouse. For example, you may take a trip, visit family or enjoy quiet moments at home. If you were holding out hope for an improvement in your marriage, you likely know the state of your relationship by the time January arrives.

A fresh start 

Like individuals across the country, many residents of Arkansas make resolutions each year. Often, goals include living a happier lifestyle. If you are stuck in an unfulfilling marriage, you may use the beginning of a new year to make a fresh start.

Deciding to divorce your spouse is likely one of the more significant choices you ever make. By understanding why divorce filings increase in January and February, you can choose the right time to end your marriage.