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Spring brings divorce filing increase

In Washington, the weather begins to change in the early spring and the first blooms appear on the trees. The winter releases its grip on the northwest and the sun begins to shine. A University of Washington professor believes that this renewal leads in large part to an increase in divorce filings in the spring as people seek to begin anew.

March is the month in which more people across the country file for divorce than at any other time of the year, reports suggest. A University of Washington professor tells reporters that this spike in filings can be due to many factors. Couples who may have been on shaky ground prior to the holiday season may have found that they are ready to "take the plunge" to end their marriage.

While professionals note that divorces have increased steadily during the past few years, they are particularly high in the early spring. Couples may put off filing for dissolution during the holiday season for the children in the family or to appear happy to relatives and friends. Additionally, some couples find it beneficial to stay married until after Dec. 31 for tax purposes.

There is also an increase in spouse cheating during the holiday season, reports suggest. In fact, 56 percent of men and 42 percent of women who cheat, do so during the holiday season. This fact can lead to a bump in divorces early in the year, as a certain number of spouses discover the cheating.

However, there are many reasons that lead people to decide to divorce. The unsteady economy may have kept marriages together for financial reasons as well. The cost of maintaining two households can be great and many may have decided that they cannot afford to separate. As the economic outlook improves, officials expect that the divorce rates will continue to rise. For those Washington residents confronting these issues, open communication, good documentation and awareness of relevant laws and procedures can help keep divorce negotiations on track.

Source: KPLU News, "Why most people get divorced in March," Evan Hoover, March 6, 2012

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