Valentine’s Day was less than two weeks ago, so it’s hard to believe we’re in the height of “divorce season,” as many legal professionals have called this time of the year.
Divorce attorneys across the country prepare for an uptick in dissolution business January through March, with February typically being the peak. Industry-wide, divorce lawyers scramble to keep up with the volume of new clients who fell out of love – very similar to the rush CPAs have during tax season time.
A study of divorce filings in New York, Illinois and California by AttorneyFee.com, a legal referral site, found that February is the busiest month of the year for divorce filings, up about 18% from the average month. And those seeking referrals for a divorce lawyer on the website increase 38% following Valentine’s Day, with the biggest spike on the very next day.
In addition to Valentine’s Day, February has other factors that can lead to an increased number of splits. Since January is the busiest month of the year for bankruptcy filings, the couples’ financial problems are in a heightened state and greater divide the duo. In addition, the cold, gloomy weather of February can keep couples (who are already skating on thin ice) in close quarters, adding fuel to the fire.
V-Day often leads to D-Day. The legal site, Avvo.com reports a 40% increase in those seeking information and advice about divorce in the period right after Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday and the expectations can be very high even when the marriage has been on shaky ground. If the Day doesn’t pan out the way the images on television said it should, people are disappointed and finally call a divorce attorney.
In addition to the holiday letdown, February also corresponds with tax time. Many clients use their refunds to pay for their attorney fees.
According to an analysis of divorce filings by FindLaw.com, a legal-information website, between 2008 and 2011, divorces spiked in January and continued to surge through the end of “divorce season,” late March. FindLaw.com says searches for “divorce” and related phrases such as “family law” and “child custody” jumped 50 percent — from a little more than 10,000 in December 2010 to nearly 16,000 in January 2011, and continued to swell through March. “Divorce” has been the No. 1 searched term on FindLaw.com since February 2010.
With divorce, it’s usually not a strategic decision – it’s emotional. The main component to a solid relationship is communication. The healthy give and take needed to sustain a marriage can take a hit during the long, dark months of winter. People stay inside more often and bad can go to worse very quickly.
A New Year’s Resolution could also contribute to this “divorce season” phenomenon. A person in an unhappy marriage may make a pledge to live happier in the upcoming year. Just as the New Year’s ball drops, many promise to get their own ball rolling towards divorce. And if the couple has children, they often wait until January because they don’t want to ruin the holiday season for the rest of the family.
If you are considering initiating a divorce or have already been served with divorce papers, call the South Florida divorce attorneys at Klein Law Group today at 561-220-6659. We can provide you with solid legal guidance, answer the many questions you may have, and schedule a no-cost divorce consultation during which you can further discuss the unique aspects of your case.