One of the world’s largest online legal forums, Avvo.com has released data that indicates the number of consumers seeking information about divorce escalates around Valentine’s Day. Coined as the ‘Valentine’s Effect,’ filings for divorce in the United States typically rise around Valentine’s Day, and on Avvo.com, questions about divorce soar as much as 40 percent.
“Year over year we consistently see a marked rise in the number of people searching for divorce lawyers around Valentine’s Day,” said Leigh McMillan, vice president of marketing, Avvo, Inc. to PRNewswire. “Moreover, questions asked on Avvo.com about divorce increases an average of 40 percent during this period.”
“Around Valentine’s Day, people start questioning their relationships and wondering what their rights are if they leave,” said Los Angeles divorce attorney Kelly Chang Rickert. “Also, there is a small percentage of people who want to get their ex’es back around Valentine’s Day, so domestic violence restraining orders are also popular around this holiday.”
The data seems to be corroborated by the findings of other legal firms. A 2006 Forbes magazine report titled ‘The Valentine’s Effect?’ cited San Francisco-based LegalMatch, as claiming that the number of people seeking divorce attorneys, as well as attorneys to help with annulments and prenuptial agreements, increased significantly online around Valentine’s Day.
According to Don Keane, vice president of marketing for LegalMatch, requests for divorce lawyers rose 36% in 2005, 28% in 2004 and 34% in 2003 during the two weeks before and after Valentine’s Day, compared with the average number of requests for the six months surrounding Feb. 14. And for the entire year, the pairing of clients to divorce attorneys around Valentine’s Day is “by far” the biggest spike the company sees, according to Keane. It’s what the company has dubbed the “Valentine’s Effect.” Based on numbers for the week before Feb. 14 this year, Keane expects to see a similar increase for 2006, he said.
Edward Weinstein, a divorce attorney based in East Brunswick, N.J., who uses LegalMatch, told Forbes that he saw a significant uptick in clients seeking divorces every year around Valentine’s Day. “My theory is that when you have these kinds of sentimental holidays, people start saying, ‘I deserve to be happy,’ ” he was quoted saying.
Earlier this week, a British lawyer also said she expected a surge in divorce enquiries post-Valentine’s Day as adulterous spouses are caught out by their partners.
According to Solicitor Clare Ellison, of the leading law firm Kirwans, Valentine’s Day brings a rack of opportunities for love cheats to get caught out.
Even those who don’t suspect affairs can find themselves re-evaluating their relationship around this time, said Clare, and being disappointed at the result.
Miss Ellison said: “Valentine’s Day is billed as a time to celebrate your relationship with hearts and flowers.
“But for many people, hearts and flowers have been replaced with arguments and recriminations and Valentine’s Day only serves to highlight their relationship’s shortcomings.
Some lawyers appear to be taking advantage of the upsurge of divorce filings around the day, with the USA seeing ‘free divorce’ competitions held to reward those with the most convincing reason for needing a divorce.
Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly known as Valentine’s Day,is observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries across the world as a festival of romantic love.
Islamic scholars prohibit Muslims from participating in any of its festivities due to the day’s pagan origins, its promotion of illicit love and immorality, and link to rampant commercialization and consumerism.