Divorce Spikes After The Holidays
Around the holidays, family law attorneys see an increase in the number of custody issues they have to attend to; but in stark contrast, during this time of year divorce filings are at their lowest point.
Beginning in January, family law firms begin to see a spike in divorce filings with the number of filings continuing to rise in February and peaking in March.
After analyzing the number of divorce filings across the United States, in a collaboration with Westlaw from 2008-2011, FindLaw.com declared March to be “Divorce Month.” The fact that divorces peak in March has to do with both family finances and family dynamics.
During the holidays, those considering divorce in the New Year tend focus their spending on gifts for friends/family and holiday gatherings to not ruin the season for their family. After the holidays have passed, they have a chance to recoup their savings and pay an attorney’s retainer fee. In addition, some spouses wait to initiate divorce until the New Year because they are expecting financial bonuses later in the spring that they hope will not be considered a marital asset. Others choose to wait until after the holidays so they simply have more time to prepare information, including bank accounts, trusts, property, and retirement funds. They are also able to move forward with a clear head and without the added stress and emotions of the holiday season.
The period between December and March is when divorcing spouses are taking the time to choose their divorce lawyer. During this time they are also deciding on how to proceed with their divorce—traditional litigation, mediation, or collaborative divorce. If you are planning to divorce after the holidays, it is important not to be overcome by emotions during the holiday season. Squabbling with your spouse during this time of year may stand in the way of a peaceful settlement in the New Year. Remember to put the children first, fighting in front of them is never a good idea and they may take to heart the things you say out of anger. Remember, the future is where your life is, so focus on that.
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