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Why are there more divorces during the first quarter of the year?

Couples whose marriages are on thin ice tend as the year draws to a close often wait until after the holidays to file for divorce. There are a variety of reasons for that.

Of course, it's understandable that people don't want to put a damper on their children's holidays or have to explain their break-up to assorted family and friends with whom they'll be socializing at holiday get-togethers. Sometimes, all of the togetherness that the holidays bring marks the last straw for couples. However, while divorce filings spike each January, some studies show that they actually continue to increase through March, when they are at their highest.

For many couples who start moving toward divorce at the beginning of the year, it may take a few months to hire attorneys, get things in order, decide how they want to proceed and so forth. They may be determining whether they can work out a settlement with the help of their attorneys or if they are going to have to go through litigation.

In some cases, however, a spouse may be expecting a bonus at the end of the first or second quarter of the new year. If that is the case, he or she may find that it's financially beneficial to file as early in the year as possible.

This is just one reason why it's a good idea to seek legal guidance early in the year once the holiday mania is over. Your family law attorney can help you determine the most advantageous time for filing and let you know what kind of documentation you need to get in order to proceed.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Studies show couples wait until after the holidays to divorce, with filings peaking in March," Tim Grant, Dec. 08, 2015

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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