The Business of Breakups: Lawyers, investigators benefit from so-called Valentine’s Effect
By Sam Boykin CHARLOTTE — After a lull during the holidays, Ketan Soni’s phone starts ringing off the hook during the first of the year, and for the next several months he’s swamped. Good news for him, not so much for his clients. Soni is an attorney at the Charlotte office of the Rosen Law Firm, which specializes in divorce cases. In an ironic twist, as some couples canoodle and exchange tokens of love to celebrate Valentine’s Day, a record number of ex-sweethearts are filing for divorce. “Lots of people want to make it through the holidays, but then they start calling us,” said Soni. “During the first week of February alone, we had about 10 people retain an attorney and move forward with the divorce process.” But it’s not just divorce lawyers who see a spike in business starting in February because of what’s been dubbed the Valentine’s Effect. The romantic holiday can trigger the opposite emotion in miserable spouses who, looking for a fresh start in the New Year, set the divorce wheels in motion. This trend also impacts private investigators, couples counseling centers, moving companies and even Realtors.