Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

Valentine's Day - is it really a sign of upcoming divorce?

With Valentine's Day having come and gone, readers here in Massachusetts may be interested to note that the time following the holiday tends to see a large increase in divorce filings. Along with New Year's Eve and other "expectation holidays," studies have revealed that divorces seem to spike following a holiday letdown.

Of course, the decision to divorce can be a difficult one. According to a survey taken about a week before Valentine's Day by AnastasiaDate, an international dating website, about 10 percent of respondents were considering breaking up before the big day. In the cases where a divorce follows, the holiday is usually the tipping point, according to the company's chief communications officer.

Once the decision to divorce is made, however, another choice awaits the ex-couple - how to go about the divorce process. For some couples, it may make sense to choose the path of divorce mediation in lieu of litigation. This process involves a neutral third party that helps the parties come to a voluntary agreement on issues such as asset division, child support and child custody.

There are some major advantages to choosing divorce mediation. In many cases, mediation can be cheaper and faster than traditional, more adversarial approach of court. Although the process may not work for everyone, for those dedicated to working things out, the process can leave both parties in a better place once an arrangement is agreed upon.

While the number of divorces in Massachusetts may rise this time of year, those who have made the decision will want to take the time to chart the best course possible. For some, mediation will be the perfect opportunity to come to a mutually beneficial agreement and get on the track towards a new life.

Source: New York Daily News, "Breakups spike after Valentine's Day," Rheana Murray, Feb. 15, 2013

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