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Divorce as a New Year's Resolution?

Many New Year's resolutions focus on self-improvement: start exercising, quit smoking, lose weight. Bonnie Russell's weight loss resolution one year was a little different: she decided to lose 195 pounds - her husband!

Family law attorneys often report a spike in new divorce clients in January. An article in the NY Post quotes lawyer Gloria Allred: "In January, people are returning gifts and recycling husbands. All year the fault lines are showing underneath the surface and in January it explodes."

Statistical data bears out the anecdotes from lawyers. In New Jersey, for example, in 2008 January saw the most divorce filings, 2,586, which was nearly double the lowest month, November with only 1,430.

There are several reasons for the spike in divorce filings in January.

The "New Year's Resolution" divorce is a real issue - for many people a new year represents a new start. They may have chosen not to pursue a divorce during the holiday season. Announcing a divorce at holiday gatherings could be difficult for some couples. In some cases, couples with children want to give the kids one more holiday with an intact family. Sometimes they want to see if things get better with the more intense family time during the holidays. If they don't - come the New Year, they are ready to get out.

Infidelity is a factor in many divorces, and holiday parties are notorious for providing opportunities for drinking to excess and lowering inhibitions which can result in some people doing more than just fantasizing about someone else.

And then there are practical reasons for a spike in divorces in January. If a couple is married on December 31, they can file a joint tax return, which in many cases will save them money compared with filing separate returns.

Whatever the time of year, divorce is a complicated and difficult issue. If you are contemplating a divorce or have question on any aspect of New Jersey divorce or family law, contact a New Jersey family law attorney at the Law Offices of Greenberg, Walden & Grossman, LLC.

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