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Why is March the most popular month for divorce?

With spring fast approaching, many people in Georgia are looking forward to a fresh start. For some, that means doing something relatively minor, such as cleaning out a closet or a new fitness regime. For others, spring motivates them to making a major life change like quitting a job, selling a house or ending a marriage.

According to family law attorneys and legal websites, March is a very popular month for divorce filings. This is largely due to the time of year, according to sociology professor Pepper Schwartz. “You just had a long miserable winter together, you’ve had it,” Schwartz said in an interview with a public radio station. “A reawakening of the earth and a reawakening of new possibilities.”

In addition, March’s proximity to the holiday season likely causes the uptick in divorce filings. After spending the holidays together, many spouses come to realize that they are not happy together, and file for divorce in the first few months of the new year.

Logistics also dictate the timing of many couples’ divorce filings. As previously stated, a lot of couples wait until after the busy holiday season to separate from their spouse, due both to lack of time and a desire to shield kids from the emotional effects of divorce until after the holiday season.

Also, because the marital status as of December 31 will dictate whether a person files an individual or joint tax return, many wait until after that date to file. For more information on the tax implications of divorce, read our earlier family law blog post on the topic.

Source: KPLU, “Why most people get divorced in March,” Evan Hoover, Mar. 6, 2012