As social behaviors ebb and flow with the passing months and years, we like to use statistics to make sense of how everyone seems to feel about certain events, phenomena or schools of thought. For example, it is well known that the holiday season brings on a certain amount of stress caused by the financial burden of gift giving, time expected to be spent with family, travel and the social obligation to feel the holiday joy.
Among all the statistics, there is one that continues to ring true with each passing year: more people file for divorce in the months of January, February and March than any other time of the year. Psychologists, counselors and divorce attorneys agree that it is not the long stints of cold weather or even the fact that the wedding season was just six months earlier that cause so many wives and husbands to make this very difficult decision. Clients who come into the office during these months often have similar stories to tell.
The holiday season is stressful and when clients realize that their spouse’s presence is much less of a present than in years past, the decision to end the marriage is solidified and divorces are often filed for in January. Furthermore, the new year is a time to take stock of the happiness and fulfillment of the year before. This is a point when so many clients come to terms with the fact that they are genuinely unhappy and decide to take a step forward to a better future.
Valentine’s Day really can hammer home the lonely and unsatisfied feelings of clients on the brink of divorce. They see the love and joy others seem to be feeling on Instagram and Facebook and realize they are not feeling that themselves. The caricatures of romance and marriage they see on Valentine’s Day themed television make it clear that they are not even experiencing the real-life versions of love. When flowers and chocolates and extravagant dinners do not fix the deeper problems in their marriage, clients recognize that divorce is likely the only way to move forward.
Should you find yourself in the midst of spring, but you are feeling divorce in the air, you are not alone. Making the decision to separate from your spouse and start the divorce process is daunting. But, the guidance and support from an experienced attorney will help you ease into the next chapter of your life.
Thomas T. Field, Divorce and Family Law Partner