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Divorces increase after the holidays

Many couples ring in the New Year with a split.

By Kristin Wong Dec 17, 2012 5:20PM

January is widely regarded as "divorce month," and for good reason. More divorces are filed in January than any other month.

In fact, there's such a spike in divorce filings after the holidays, professionals prepare themselves for the boom. Divorce lawyer James Gross of law firm Thyden, Gross & Callahan told YourTango:

"Some attorneys take the last two weeks of the year off to get ready for the rush. January really does see a lot of divorces."

Photo: Thomas Northcut/Getty ImagesMore on MSN Living: 12 things we learned about love in 2012

Ginita Wall organizes a divorce workshop in Los Angeles. She told NBCLA that she sees a surge in attendees between January and March:

More on MSN Living: 12 things that change about sex when you get married

"People somehow expect the job of the season is going to correct a troubled marriage," Wall says. "And it never does."
Other experts speculate that holiday stress pushes relationships to their breaking point. Tax considerations may also have couples postponing their divorce until the New Year.
Divorce consultant Cathy Meyer explains:
"There may be more divorces than ever in January because some unhappy people have been putting divorce off during the downturn simply because they could not afford it."
Psychotherapist and divorce expert Mel Schwartz would agree. He told The Heart Beat:
"Divorce is far less a stigma than it used to be. However, the current economic conditions may force many people to remain unhappily married due to financial constraints."
But as the New Year approaches, those financial constraints might seem less important than a fresh start.
"Divorce should not be considered unless each person can say they have individually done all they can reasonably do," Schwartz adds. "Have they looked into themselves, have they worked on communications skills, have they engaged in therapy?"
With January looming, many couples will feel they've done everything they can reasonably do. For them, the New Year will also mean a new status and a new start.
Photo: Thomas Northcut/Getty Images
More from The Heart Beat:

5 weird reasons couples have divorced
The top 5 regrets of divorced people

In Japan, there's a toilet for divorce

34Comments
Dec 17, 2012 9:34PM
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Well, you could always start a gun collection. Nothing could go wrong there.....
Dec 17, 2012 9:33PM
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Perhaps these scumbag divorce lawyers will see even more married couples filing for divorce this January, 2013, married couples earning just over $250,000 a year will get a divorce in January so they won't get hit with the Obama wealth redistribution tax.  As if these working class folks are really wealthy or rich.  They have more in common with the homeless than they have in common with Gates and Buffett.  Sad.  This country is in divorce, as of the last election.

Dec 17, 2012 9:24PM
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It might have something to do with the taxes too. If your still married through the end of the year you can still fill jointly and still share the responsibility and take the kids off as dependents. Then the next year you get to fight about it.
Also the stress of the holidays often brings things to a head.


Dec 17, 2012 9:17PM
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So much for marriage being a sacred entitiy!
Dec 17, 2012 9:17PM
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the single life for me, beats the hell outta forking over 50% of everything you have and truth be told it's prob more like 70%!!!, factoring lawyers and misc crap, you guys better have a bulletproof ironclad force field enclosed pre nup, maybe you'll be in a better financial position, but who in their right mind would just get married and risking all that "love" turning into extreme hate and loosing everything they own??!! that's insane!!! just live together people, that way, your g/f can't take dime one from you, but your wife can financially  ruin you, let's face it people, the divorce process favors the woman 90% of the time, that's a risk I'd never take, I'll be damned if I work my azz off for years only to have all my stuff hauled off, never gonna happen!
Dec 17, 2012 9:10PM
Dec 17, 2012 9:10PM
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of course.. all jewekry must go to pawn shops to pay for on-line andcredit card bills.. obviously, she isbissed.. :)
Dec 17, 2012 9:09PM
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Been married 54 years and have to work at it.  Marriage is a 50/50 propersition, sometimes more, sometimes less.  But not in todays times, seems like we'll try it out is the mentality.
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