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Why Divorce Spikes In March

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The legal community has long known that divorce filings tend to spike in March, and now they have the data to back it up.

About half of the marriages in the United States won't last, according to the U.S. Census.

"Divorce is a failure. It's a failure of commitment. People don't like to admit it to family and friends and co-workers," says Robert Hajek of Hajek & Beauclaire LLC.

With the boom of legal websites, there's now data to prove what family attorneys say they've known for years.

Online research group Westlaw, surveyed divorce filings in 22 states, including Minnesota. It found March had more divorce filings than any other month of the year. In 2011, the survey found there were 41 percent more filings in March than in January.

"By the time January rolls around, the holidays are done and it's a new year so to speak and things can happen. And that's why we call January the 'decision month,' because that's when the decision happens," says Hajek.

If January is the "decision month," Hajek and others in his field call February the "planning month." This is when he says couples typically begin looking for attorneys. This can be explained by people searching for divorce lawyers on legal sites.

When March comes around, Hajek says couples tend to have their affairs in order and they're ready to officially file.

If there's a silver lining to divorce in the United States, it's that the divorce rate has dropped about 30 percent in the last 20 years.

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