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Non-profit aims to help struggling couples in the middle of 'divorce month'

A relationship experts explains why many couples split in January and how she's working to help them

For many married couples seeking a divorce, January is a popular month to do it (even for the richest person in the world). 

"Well, I think there are some tax issues that are going on and I think people put it off until after the holidays because they don't want to spoil the holidays for the kids," Dr. Kristina Gordon, a clinical psychology professor at UT, said. 

Dr. Kristi Gordon is not only a clinical psychology professor at UT, she's also a partner at Knoxville Marriage Initiative, a non-profit that helps struggling couples. 

"Part of the reason I'm doing this work is, for many years, I worked with many couples who came in for therapy, and most of these problems with them started way back and they really aren't that hard to resolve," Dr. Gordon said. 

UTK is currently partnered with Knoxville Marriage Initiative running workshops out of local churches. A new grant coming this year will help the much needed program grow.

"People still really want to get married. Many people are putting it off trying it out by co-habitation, but the data shows that doesn't work very well," Dr. Gordon said. 

Dr. Gordon said most divorces happen within a certain demographic. 

"If you look at those folks with lower levels of income and education, the divorce rate is sky rocketing," Dr. Gordon said. 

Dr. Gordon said there's one thing couples should do consistently to maintain a successful relationship.

"I think learning to listen to each other well is really important and that's one of the main focuses in this workshop," Dr. Gordon said. 

The next step for the non-profit is to find a physical space where they can bring people together. Right now, workshops are taking place at a handful of churches in the community.

Prices for workshops are around $100 for 6-8 classes and officials said those prices are flexible.

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