It's February 14, and love is in the air. Valentine's Day: a day to put your feet up, kick back with love-filled Champagne to the soft notes of Barry White and allow yourself to recapture the honeymoon days with your Valentine. A day in which the air seems fresher, the flowers seem brighter, and the sky is painted red.
Would it surprise you that many are left with a different reality on Valentine's Day?
For many, Valentine's is "D" Day -- Divorce Day! Seems odd, right? Hey honey, here is a box of heart chocolates, red roses, and a summons in which you have been served with a dissolution proceeding; certainly not an "Aphrodite" moment to commemorate Valentine's Day.
It may seem harsh, but according to AVVO.com, Valentine's Day often sees a forty percent spike in divorce filings. While for most people Valentine's Day is a time to commemorate their love, for others it has become the time to pull the plug.
In our experience, we have found that divorce filings increase around Valentine's Day for a couple reasons. January is when the rates start to rise; it is finally after holiday season and the fear of ruining Christmas or New Year's has passed. This is why November and December are relatively slow for divorce filings.
In the weeks after Valentine's Day, divorce filings hit their year-round high. Valentine's Day comes with a lot of pressure and expectations. Divorce may be the result of a lackluster Valentine's Day. Remember how mad she was when you forgot your anniversary? Imagine if your anniversary reminder played on every other TV commercial, was in every newspaper and magazine, and your favorite sports caster reminded you to buy flowers. That's Valentine's Day -- the anniversary of love for the entire country. Time and time again, couples step back and question their relationship after a not-so-romantic night.
Putting love on a pedestal for even just one day can lead to insecurities on both sides of the relationship, causing marriages to dissolve in the following weeks.
To those that decide to file for divorce, it is advised that you communicate through a lawyer. Do not let the incense cloud your vision. If you were capable of properly communicating in your relationship, you probably wouldn't be getting divorced.
Don't turn to social media for romantic reprieve. Remember, your "friends" are also your spouse's friends and only one of you will get them in the divorce. Also, more and more attorneys are citing Facebook and Twitter in the court room. That one flirtatious wall post could be taken completely out of context and held against you, so think before you type!
Take inventory of your spending -- and expenses. Know what you have and how much it costs each month to be you, only you. Information is power, and in turn, information can be dollar signs. The more you fight, the more fees you will incur. In other words, now is the time to think with your wallet, not with your heart.
We all know there are two types of Valentine's Day people: those who love it and those who are naysayers. Either way, the day induces strong feelings. This is one of the reasons we see the divorce rates spike, whether you are a hopeless romantic or not -- Valentine's Day is a sensitive subject.
Love is a beautiful thing, but in the event it turns ugly, be informed and be represented well.