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January and February see more divorce due to mounting stress

January and February are well-known as the "divorce months," a two-month stretch that sees a fervent rise in the number of divorce filings. So is this just a societal quirk, or is there a reason why the number of divorce cases increases after the New Year?

It is a bit more complex than just one element contributing to this seasonal spike in divorce. All of the stress that comes with the holiday season leading up to January and February can make or break a couple. Money, time and proximity all come together to create a tense situation for many couples.

This anxiety happens during the holidays, but there are also couples who have already been going through times prior to Thanksgiving. These couples may take a couple of routes: either wait out the holidays to file for divorce, preventing any potential family embarrassment; or they can hold on to hope, believing that the holidays will bring them closer to their significant other.

If that hope doesn't come to fruition, then New Year's Day could push them towards a resolution to dramatically change their lives.

Another factor in this divorce spike is Valentine's Day. The holiday of love can sometimes produce the exact opposite for couples, pushing a marriage to the brink and ultimately divorce. In addition, Valentine's Day is part of the build up to tax season. Couples may choose to file one final joint return before calling it quits.

Despite the gloom of this rise in divorce after New Year's, change can be a good thing if you plan and prepare for it properly. The best way to accomplish this is to bring in a legal representative who can review your case and give you the best course of action given your circumstances.

Source: Huffington Post, "New Year Divorce Spike," Lynn Toler, Feb. 28, 2012

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