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Experts: 'Divorce Month' is officially here

Most people associate the month of January with new beginnings, meaning a renewed resolve to both fix lifestyle problems and try new things. For the most part, these new beginnings center on things like work, school, physical conditioning, hobbies and, of course, habits. However, recent studies have shown that for an increasing number of Americans, these new beginnings center on marriage and divorce.

If you don't believe it, consider research showing that from 2008 to 2011 there has been a consistent jump in divorces during the month of January followed by another rise and peak in the month of March. In addition, this same research revealed that Internet searches for terms such as "divorce," "child custody," and "family law" increased by as much as 50 percent from December to January, again peaking in March.

Not surprisingly, this phenomenon of starting the new year with a spike in divorce filings has resulted in many experts referring to January as "Divorce Month."

Why then are people seemingly so anxious to pursue a divorce in January?

According to experts, much of it can be traced to the holiday season. Specifically, most people eager to pursue a divorce will put it off until after the holidays as they don't want to potentially ruin the "most wonderful time of the year" for their children or be perceived as cruel.

Others delay their pursuit of a divorce until January, experts argue, because of purely financial reasoning. Specifically, they don't want to create potential tax issues for the previous year and/or want to wait until bonuses or raises have been administered to their spouse.

Why then do divorces jump even higher in March?

Experts theorize that this phenomenon can likely be explained by the fact that people initiate the divorce process in January, meaning they start meeting with an attorney and acquiring the necessary information. Once they have performed these tasks, they may use the next several weeks to contemplate their options before they are confident enough to move forward with a divorce.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you really agree with this assessment or are you skeptical about the whole idea of Divorce Month?

If you would like to learn more about divorce, child custody or child support, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can answer your questions, explain your rights and fight on your behalf.

Source: CNN, "In January, 'ex' marks the spot," Sarah LeTrent, Jan. 17, 2014

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