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Divorce spikes in January, say researchers

After the excitement of the holidays from October through December, January can feel quite dull in comparison. Although Florida’s sun still shines brightly, this month may often seem like the darkest. In fact, researchers believe that the time of year has a lot to do with how you feel, including what you think about your relationship.

The University of Washington studied divorce filings over the course of fourteen years. What they discovered was that they follow a similar pattern year to year. Although the divorce rate is much lower in December, January continually sees a major increase that usually plateaus by March.

Finding a pattern doesn’t necessarily mean that the researchers also found a cause. However, it doesn’t hurt to speculate. The rate is lowest in December, possibly because couples don’t want divorce to overshadow holiday celebrations. In comparison, January may not be as busy or offer as many distractions. The prospect of the new year might also lead unhappy couples to seek a change in their lives.

Researchers did investigate other correlations, such as employment rates and the economy, but were surprised to find that these factors had little bearing on divorce filings. They are also more convinced that the holiday season affects divorce trends, stating that unrelated legal actions did not follow the same pattern.

The study initially only collected Washington data, but researchers later examined Florida divorce filings and were able to confirm the same pattern. This means that Florida residents might find now themselves facing a divorce, whether they have been waiting for the right moment or their spouse surprised them with papers. They might also be in need of an experienced divorce lawyer.

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