It's the new year — time to shed some weight, some clutter and ... your spouse?

For many relationship and legal experts in the Garden State, January is considered "divorce month." Whether they're thinking strategically in terms of getting the most out of divorce, or just looking to call it quits as a way of starting anew in 2020, many folks are expected to reach out on Jan. 2 to get the ball rolling on the major life change.

"The month is very, very busy," said Steven J. Kaplan, whose law practice in Colts Neck is limited to divorce and related issues. "I think January is largely about new year's resolutions."

While some clients are somewhat triggered by the new year to make the move, Kaplan said, his office also handles calls in November and December from individuals who plan to start the process in January and just want a few questions answered ahead of time.

The month of January is the most popular month for legal breakups, according to edivorce-papers.com. As of Wednesday, the state could not provide monthly divorce statistics.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.7 out of every 1,000 New Jersey residents got divorced in the year 2018. The rate has wavered between 2.6 an 3.4 since 1999.

A 2017 post from the Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group, which has a handful of offices in New Jersey, said January could be the "best time to file for divorce," for a couple of reasons — closing out the year before rearranging finances "is often a sound practical decision," and going through the divorce process during the December holidays can cause a much more stressful situation for children than necessary.

Kaplan said while getting divorced in January, after a whole year has ended, does make things easier in terms of splitting marital property, the typical spouse, unhappy in their marriage, doesn't have that in mind.

"Divorce is always emotional, but in January we tend to get some of the more emotional ones. I'm not totally sure why," he said.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.