Should March be dubbed “Divorce Month?”
Some of the most well-known online legal research groups say the answer is yes.
Traditionally divorce attorneys have noted an uptick in divorce filings in January, when the holiday season ends and families return to their regular lives. But according to Westlaw, a top legal research database, March had more divorce filings than any other month in the year in 2011.
FindLaw, another online site for consumers, reports that searches for “divorce” and terms such as “family law” and “child custody” skyrocketed 50 percent from December 2010 to January 2011 and continued to rise, ultimately hitting their high point in March. According to a press release, “divorce” has been the most popular search term on FindLaw since February 2010.
There are a number of possible explanations for the increase in divorce filings in March. Many couples try to keep it together during the holidays, either for the kids or to put off dealing with relatives who will ask intrusive questions. But come January, things settle down a bit – and both parties have more time to think and remember why the marriage is on rocky terms.
By February, they’re ready to initiate the divorce process. The number of divorce filings rise – as do the number of Web searches for “family law attorneys” and “divorce lawyers.” Finally, it’s March and it’s time to act, hence the peak point in filings.
Other reasons for so many March divorces, according to FindLaw, include:
- A large percentage of affairs occur during the holidays, when unhappy spouses feel most depressed.
- Your marital status on December 31 will affect whether you file a joint or single income tax return for the previous year.