Number of divorces filed in U.S. spikes JanuaryMarch

When most couples in America say, "I do," they plan on being happily married for life.

But things happen. Life brings change. People change.

Whatever the circumstances, today, approximately 40 percent of first-time marriages end in divorce. The number of Americans filing for divorce increases by about 30 percent in January, typically peaking in March.

Why the increase in January? According to divorce attorney John F. Schaefer of Birmingham people don't want to file for divorce during the holidays. "Two major holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, occur toward the end of the year. Holidays are often stressful in and of themselves. To add a divorce, particularly when there are children involved, is more stress than most people want to deal with."

Schaefer, a family law attorney who specializes in divorce, is author of the newly released book, "Divorce in Michigan-The Legal Process, Your Rights, and What to Expect." (Addicus Books, January 2016). Why did he write the book? "I wanted to give people considering divorce straight-forward information about the divorce process; they need good information to make good choices - choices that may affect them for years to come."

Schaefer has represented thousands of individuals getting divorced during his more than forty year law career.

Is there one particular thing about divorce that most people don't realize until they are in the middle of one? "Yes, there is," said Schaefer. "People often become emotional during the divorce process, and those emotions-be it sadness or anger-can cloud their judgment. They need to be clear-headed, because they will be making critical decisions that will affect them and their families."

Schaefer has practiced law since 1969, and is the founder of The Law Firm of John F. Schaefer, with offices in Birmingham and Grosse Pointe. He specializes in complex matrimonial matters and has been an adjunct professor at the Detroit College of Law (now Michigan State University College of Law), teaching courses in domestic relations for more than thirty years. Schaefer attended Cranbrook School, the University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University, and the Detroit College of Law.

For additional information about the book, visit

Published: Mon, Feb 08, 2016