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1st Monday of the year is 'Divorce Day' for many in New York

As we write this, today is Jan. 5. For many people, it is the first day back at work since New Year’s Eve. There may be a lot of work to catch up on, but few will be as busy today as divorce attorneys.

It is believed that the first Monday after New Year’s Day has more new divorce and separation proceedings than any other day of the year. That is why it is unofficially known as “Divorce Day.”

The just-finished holiday season is a big reason for this. Many unhappily married people prefer to wait until after the holidays to tell their spouse it is over. Some of them are parents and are afraid of “ruining” the season for their children. Others are about to spend a lot of time with their families -- including their in-laws -- and would rather avoid a nasty confrontation.

Once the holidays are over, however, it’s time to initiate proceedings. More than a month’s worth of new divorce cases may reach attorneys’ doors in one day. According to Essence, 20 percent of couples start thinking about divorce or separation following Christmas.

Whether you already have an appointment with a divorce attorney, or are still deciding whether to end your marriage later this year, the issues are largely the same. How much of the marital property are you entitled to? Will you or your spouse seek alimony? If the two of you have children, will you share custody or will one parent raise the kids most of the time? An attorney can help you answer these and other questions.

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