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Family law attorneys notice divorce spike after Valentine's Day

The famous folk singer Pete Seeger once revitalized a passage from the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes by setting it to music. The passage begins with the line, "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." Regardless of your religious beliefs (or taste in music for that matter), we can all probably relate to that sentiment in some way.

For instance, there are certain times of year that are heavily associated with marriage and others more associated with divorce. Interestingly, we recently celebrated an occasion which now seems to be associated with both: Valentine's Day.

If February 14th is the official holiday celebrating love and romance, February 15th has recently become the unofficial holiday that begins a season associated with a spike in divorce filings.

According to the website AttorneyFee.com, divorce filings in February tend to be about 18 percent higher than in other months. This is based on a demographic study of New York, California and Illinois. The website also says that it sees a 38-percent increase in referral requests for divorce lawyers following Valentine's Day. Other legal reference sites report similar findings.

Last month, we wrote that January is also a popular month to file for divorce because of its association with New Year's Eve resolutions. Those who have been unhappy in their marriage for some time may want to file at the beginning of the year in order to enjoy a "fresh start." But in February, however, an unsatisfying Valentine's Day may provide the "last straw" that prompts an angry spouse to seek a split.

The president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers recently observed that "There are always the clients who come in a day or two after saying 'I can't believe it, I made this beautiful dinner for my husband for Valentine's Day, but he called to say he was stuck in the office and then didn't come home at all.'"

Despite the focus on societal trends, there is no universally "right" or "wrong" time to divorce. If a relationship no longer works and a divorce becomes inevitable, each couple should follow a timeline that makes the most sense for their particular situation and needs.

Source: CNN Money, "Day after Valentine's kicks off divorce season," Chris Isidore, Feb. 15, 2013

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Keith B. Schulefand, ESQ | No Fault Divorce

Keith B. Schulefand, ESQ | No Fault Divorce

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