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'Divorce month:' Lawyer says calls up as much as 40% in January |

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'Divorce month:' Lawyer says calls up as much as 40% in January

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- January is known as divorce month.

With the holidays behind us, local experts say this is the time when many married couples consider calling it quits.

Romeo Perez, a local divorce attorney said he's getting between 30% and 40% more calls. Couples asking questions about the divorce process.

Perez said January turned out to be a busy month with divorce consultations.

He said he believes many couples wait for the holidays to pass -- or for their income tax return -- before hiring a divorce attorney.

From his perspective, the pandemic is another factor that's pushed more couples to consider breaking up.

“What we’re seeing a lot of now is kind of what we saw in the late ‘90s, which is people weren’t necessarily fighting over the kids, they were fighting over the house,” Perez said. “We’ve got the house values that skyrocketed in the last two years. People are fighting over the equity.”

For couples that are on the fence, Perez first recommends seeking marriage counseling, especially when children are involved.

Family law is all about the best interest of the kids.

Dr. Katherine Hertlein, a UNLV professor who specializes in therapy for couples and families, said January divorces don’t just spring up out of the holidays. The problems have been building up for some time. Often, one partner has been thinking about divorce for a full year before the other person knows.

And while holiday tensions can bring things to a head, the pandemic isn’t helping, either.

Hertlein said they're also seeing an increase in domestic violence during the pandemic.

“You’ve got to recognize the signs of intimate partner violence,” she said. “So often, we see little subtle signs of it and we sort of dismiss them as being someone is having a bad day or well they didn’t physically hit me. Intimate partner violence is a lot of things. It’s emotional. It’s intellectual. It’s sexual. It can be physical.”

If you are on the fence about a break-up, Hertlein recommends to first slow things down, and think about looking to a professional for couples counseling. Also, make sure you have the support that you need.