Is January really ‘Divorce Month’? What exactly is divorce season? Perhaps some people feel there is a void to be filled when holiday season is over. December happens to be a big month for engagements. Is it cruel irony that divorce filings spike in January? Experts consider January to be ‘Divorce Month’ but is there really such a thing as a good time for divorce?
The holiday season is a time for togetherness but it also tends to trigger a suspension of reality. Problems are pushed aside. When real life returns, we meet it with resolutions and talk of turning over a new leaf. Divorce is a little more complicated than turning over a new leaf. Consulting an attorney is a good idea but it may just be the start of a conversation that doesn’t necessarily lead to divorce.
March is considered the end of the so-called divorce season that begins with January. However, a second spike occurs in September, following summer, the other season when people are prone to take vacations from their problems. Don’t let the time of year or talk of time in general dictate such a momentous decision. Instead, take baby steps. For example:
- Review your taxes – This is a good time to educate yourself. You receive end of year tax forms in January. Gather the documents that let you know what you are holding and what you owe. This includes bank, brokerage and retirement statements. It also includes real estate documents. This will verify your assets, liabilities, income and expenses. If you do wind up getting a divorce, you will be in a better position to negotiate.
- Pull your credit report – It’s just good to find out about debt you didn’t know you had, whether you are getting a divorce or not. Sometimes statements are only available online or the mail is being sent to the wrong address. This is good information to have before entering into negotiations.
- Review retirement plans and insurance policies – This is crucial if you have children who are minors. Changes may need to be made in order to protect them.
‘Divorce Month’ or not, there is nothing wrong with being prepared. Understand the financial implications of divorce. Know your assets. Most importantly, think of your children, if you have them. It is traumatic for them. Their emotional well-being is paramount. Child custody litigation is a whole other ball of wax and a costly one at that. Before you resolve to end your marriage, schedule an appointment with my office.