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Valentine's Day often precedes increase in divorce filings

Valentine's Day may have already come and gone, but that does not necessarily mean that its effects are no longer felt. Though typically associated with roses, chocolate and all things love, for some, Valentine's Day may lead to thoughts of a much less romantic event -- divorce. Apparently, some of Cupid's arrows might have missed their marks in New York.

Starting at the beginning of the year, divorce filings typically start to go up, an effect that was discussed in this blog on Jan. 6, 2015 ("Divorce rates soar in the New Year"). As it turns out, divorce filings also increase around Valentine's Day. In fact, the upward trend continues until it peaks in March. 

Analysts also found that interest in divorce on the Internet increased during the same time period. By reviewing data collected from 2008 to 2011, researchers concluded that Internet searches for the term "divorce" increased by 40 percent around Valentine's Day. For the researchers, this apparently lends credence to the Valentine's Day effect, and the results may lead some to feel differently about the holiday.

While it is unlikely that the actual holiday itself is the cause of divorce, filings during or shortly after major holidays are certainly not uncommon. Particularly on Valentine's Day, New York couples may feel obliged to spend time with one another, and, in doing so, they may come to the conclusion that divorce may be the only appropriate course of action left to take as a married couple. Depending on the couple, a successful divorce agreement can potentially be agreed upon without a court's intervention. However, in instances in which parties are unable to reach a compromise, litigation may be necessary.

Source:, "First comes Valentine's Day. Then comes divorce court? March is prime time for splitting up", Holly Edgell, March 19, 2015

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