‘Tis the Season for Divorce

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The number of people filing for divorce surges by a third more than average in January.

“Out with the old, in with the new” is a popular expression for the new year. But for some unhappily married Americans, the “old” they’re referring to is their spouse.

That’s right. The number of Americans filing for divorce in January surges, leading some to refer to January as Divorce Month, MarketWatch said.

James McLaren, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and a partner at a South Carolina legal firm, told MarketWatch that January is traditionally a busy time for divorce attorneys.

“We see a significant increase in people seeking out divorce advice and, ultimately, filing. The number of filings is one-third more than normal. That begins in January and probably goes into early March.”

Katie Lammers of Heimerl and Lammers Attorneys told KARE 11 that several factors affect couples’ decision to untie the knot in January.

“First of all, it may be something that has been in the works for a long time, but you have got summer and then kids start school, and then it is the holidays and people say, ‘Well, I am going to wait, I am going to wait, I am going to wait’ and then finally, [New Year’s] hits, and they decide it is time. ‘I am going to do it.'”

It seems a bit heartless to file for divorce during the holiday season, so it makes sense that many people wait until January. However, it’s also difficult to schedule court time during the holiday season, McLaren said, which could affect a couple’s decision on when to proceed.

We recently told you that the U.S. divorce rate is not nearly as high as you probably think it is. After peaking in the early 1980s, the divorce rate in the U.S. has been on the decline.

Are you surprised to find out that January is such a popular divorce month? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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