Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Beginning of the new year typically sees spike in divorces

With the holiday season well into effect, it will not be long before Salt Lake City residents see the beginning of the new year. For many, the start of the new year brings an opportunity for fresh beginnings, as individuals set one or more resolutions they hope to keep.

The beginning of the new year also has major implications when it comes to family law. Many couples choose to make a new beginning in their personal lives by getting a divorce.

It is fairly common for couples to go through the holidays in the midst of a dispute, before filing for divorce in January. The statistics support this as well, as December typically sees a lull in divorce filings, prior to a significant increase in January. This increase continues through March, which is the month with the most divorce filings nationally.

There are multiple reasons for the increase in filings, according to family law experts. On the emotional side, the spike in January follows an often stressful time of the year with the holidays, where family tensions may be suppressed during the busy time at the end of the year. Given this stressful time, it is no surprise that many custody issues also arise during the holidays for parents who are divorced.

There can also be financial reasons why couples choose to get divorced after the start of the new year. Couples may be reassessing their financial picture with the new year, and they also have recouped their finances after a typically high spending period that exists during the holidays.

No matter what the reason, couples looking for a divorce should understand their options. As the numbers show, the beginning of the new year is often a time when couples do just that and look to make a change in their life.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Studies show couples wait until after the holidays to divorce, with filings peaking in March," Dec. 11, 2015

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