February: a decided jump, annually, in divorce filings

For many couples and romantics, the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day in Georgia and across the country are filled with excitement, planning and anticipating the sweethearts’ holiday. Spouses look forward to intimate dinners, romantic getaways and gifts. Everything about February seems geared toward romance, but it’s actually the busiest month of the year for many divorces. Some spouses will be hiring a divorce lawyer even before the Valentine’s Day bouquet begins to fade.

A study of divorce cases filed in three states — California, Illinois and New York — showed that new divorce filings were 18 percent higher in February than in any other month. Internet legal referral services report that the number of spouses looking for divorce lawyers online jumps 38 to 40 percent starting the day after Valentine’s Day and continues through the end of February.

A number of factors could trigger the February spike in interest in divorce, according to the president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. For some spouses, the reality of Valentine’s Day didn’t match the level of anticipation. They simply don’t want to spend February 14 with the same person next year.

For some couples, the problem is financial. They’re still recovering from a holiday hangover brought on by overspending at Christmastime. Others are sick of being cooped up with their spouse day after day because it’s too cold to go outside. Spouses who are seeing someone else on the side feel their stress levels go up in February, trying to live up to the expectations of their spouse and their paramour. Getting divorced is one way to resolve the issue.

Source: CNN, “Day after Valentine’s kicks off divorce season,” Chris Isidore, Feb. 15, 2013

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