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Unhappy couples look past the holidays to Divorce Month

Like many families, you want to enjoy the holidays. In fact, you want them to be as perfect as possible.

However, your marriage may be in trouble, and if the holidays do not meet your expectations, you may join the thousands who file for divorce in January, which has become known as Divorce Month.

Seeing a surge

Legal firms in the U.S. report seeing a significant increase in divorce filings in January every year. To be specific, the rush begins on the first Monday after the holidays and continues until March. People unhappy in their marriages often want to have one last Thanksgiving and Christmas or Hanukkah as a family unit before turning the page to a new chapter in their lives. Many view the holidays as a make-it-or-break-it time for their marriage. They may hope for a little magic in the holidays, but if their expectations are not met, they look ahead to Divorce Month.

Clogged calendars

Another reason for people to wait until January to file for divorce is that court calendars are very busy from Thanksgiving until the end of the year. You could file, but your case may not be heard in a timely manner, which would be awkward and cause additional stress for the family.

A different tax picture

Because of the new tax law that goes into effect in January 2019, divorce filings are likely to increase in the last few weeks of 2018. According to the new law, the party who pays alimony following a divorce will no longer be able to claim those payments as a deduction while the recipient will no longer have to declare the monthly payments as income.

Looking at options

Divorce is a big decision and an emotional process, no matter what time of year it becomes a reality. You have options to consider: litigation, mediation or collaborative divorce. If you see the holiday experience as a big factor in making that decision, you have a 50-50 chance of becoming a participant in Divorce Month.

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