There are numerous reasons that spouses cite when filing for divorce. These reasons vary greatly. However no matter what the reason, in recent years a new trend has developed on when spouses actually file for divorce- and it is right after New Years Day.
The most common time of year for filing for divorce is the month of January, which is now nicknamed divorce month. In the month of January, the most popular day to file is January 2nd and January 3rd, which is right after the New Years’s Day holiday.
There are probably many reasons why divorce filings double during this period of time. Many spouses report wanting to stick it through the holidays because they feel it will be easier on the family and/or the children. Some couples believe that the togetherness and emphasis on family that comes with the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas will solve all of the preceding year’s problems. Sometimes the stress of the holidays makes an already declining marriage much worse.
Since the New Year’s Holiday seems to bring with it a period of reflection and review of the previous year, it may be the last reflection that a spouse needs in order to get them to file. No matter what the reason for the split is, divorce filings double in January. Statistics show that approximately 10 percent of couples don’t make it to their fifth wedding anniversary and roughly 25 percent divorce before they make it to their tenth wedding anniversary.
If your already strained marriage makes it through the beginning of January, towards the end of January you are bombarded with Valentine’s Day merchandise and reminders of true love and romance. This sometimes is a tipping point which entices someone to file.
No matter the reason or the time of year you decide you want to file, before you file, it is a good idea to take time to prepare for this new chapter in your life just like you would prepare for any other stage in your life. With approximately 40% of first time marriages ending in divorce and over 4 million divorced parents in the United States alone, another resolution a spouse who is contemplating filing for divorce should have is a resolution to be prepared for this next stage, especially if there are children involved. Just like you would prepare if you were making any other significant change in your life such as going to college or retiring, if you are the person filing, you need to be equally prepared for divorce.
Surprisingly though, many spouses who petition the court for divorce many times are as equally unprepared as the spouse that did not file for divorce. If you waited through the holidays to file for divorce for the sake of your children or your family, you also owe it to yourself to at least educate yourself on all of the household’s finances. This includes but is not limited to each side’s yearly income, all bank accounts, joint or otherwise, all credit cards, all assets and their value such as a home or cars etc. You also need to consider all recurring bills and whether a divorce may increase them such as childcare expenses. Knowing what the status of the family’s assets and debts may lead to a more candid conversation with your spouse and may save both sides time and money during the divorce proceeding. You also need to have some proposals on where each spouse shall live during the divorce proceeding and an idea of what you would want the parenting plan for visitation to look like.
If you are a spouse who has been served with divorce papers, as hurt as you may be, one of the first things you need to make sure you are aware of the families finances which include all assets and debts. It is also a good idea to talk to an attorney before you respond to the divorce petition. Many family law attorneys offer free consultations.
As a family law attorney, I strive to keep lines of communication open and help families work through this difficult process. Whether you need a contested divorce, modification of a child custody or visitation order or simply the enforcement of a previous agreement, call the Law Office of David M. Goldman for a free consultation. (904) 685-1200.