There’s a month for everything: National Pet Month, National Honey Month, National Grilled Cheese Month. And apparently, in recent years, January earned the less-than-flattering title of “Divorce Month.”
Findlaw.com, along with legal research service Westlaw, recently analyzed divorce filings between 2008 and 2011. Their study showed a spike in divorces in January, followed by a spike in late March. The study also revealed searches for “divorce,” “family law,” and “child custody” increased 50% from December to January – searches that continued to soar through the month of March.
So what exactly is going on during the early months of the year that causes such a rise in divorce? Miles Mason, a Memphis-based divorce attorney, lists a few reasons.
- First of all, folks do not want to be perceived by friends and family as cold and heartless right before Christmas. Mason explains that “if somebody is coming to us in January, they made the decision to come see me or a lawyer before the holidays.”
- Secondly, finances play a factor. Bonuses typically occur at the end of the year, a portion of which can be claimed as an asset from a spouse. Waiting until January to file for divorce will also not interfere with tax filings for the year before, which most couples file jointly.
- Lastly, psychiatrist Mark Banschick explains that the start of the new year usually prompts an “existential moment” where people take a closer look at their lives, realize that it passes by too quickly, and that their current situation is not happy. As a result, “they call attorneys out of pain.”
If you have questions about divorce planning, please contact our California Certified Family Law Specialists (as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization). Our attorneys have decades of experience handling complex family law proceedings and offer a free consultation.
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