Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos are getting divorced, and they announced it smack in the middle of ‘divorce month’

Jeff Bezos’ announcement fits the pattern. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • On Wednesday, AmazonCEO Jeff Bezos announced his plans to file for divorce from MacKenzie Bezos.
  • January is when divorce filings spike in Washington State, where the Bezoses live, according to research.
  • Divorce experts say many couples prefer to wait until after the holidays have passed to announce their decision.

Jeff Bezos announced Wednesday on Twitter that he and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, plan to file for divorce.

Bezos is the founder and CEO of Amazon, and his estimated net worth is $US137 billion. He and MacKenzie met while working for investment-management firm D.E. Shaw in New York; they have been married 25 years and have four children together.

Interestingly, January has been unofficially labelled “Divorce Month.” And some scientific research suggests that divorce filings spike in January. Researchers at the University of Washington, Julie Brines and Brian Serafini, analysed divorce filings between 2001 and 2015 in Washington State (where the Bezoses live) and found that they consistently peaked in March and August, i.e. right after winter and summer holidays. The winter spike begins in January.

Read more: 8 things science says predict divorce

In a statement, the researchers said that many couples may wait until after the holidays have passed to announce their decision, and some may try to work out conflicts during the holiday season. “People tend to face the holidays with rising expectations, despite what disappointments they might have had in years past,” Brines said in the statement.

Other experts agree. “What I find is that most people in December want to get through the holidays. Nobody wants a divorce summons put into their stocking,” Jacqueline Newman, a managing partner at a top New York City divorce law firm, previously told Business Insider.

For couples with kids, it can be especially important to “hold things together” during the holidays, Kathryn Smerling, a New York City-based psychotherapist who helps couples going through divorce, previously told Business Insider.

Newman called January “keeping your options open month,” since that’s when couples typically come to her to get a better idea of what a divorce would look like. Many return in February or March ready to make the change official.