January typically brings a surge in divorce filings as people decide to start the New Year with a clean slate. According to John Slowiaczek, President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a spike of 25% to 30% in divorce filings occurs every year in January. Why do people decide to file for divorce at the beginning of the year? When a relationship is already tenuous, the holidays often bring tension, emotion, and financial burdens, which often trigger a spouse to file for divorce. If you are contemplating divorce, here are three things you should do now:
1. Be strategic and gather information before rushing to file and escalating the situation. Make copies of end of year statements, W-2’s, 1099’s and other relevant financial documents. Have your team and a plan in place before moving forward. Also, don't make any big financial decisions or changes immediately after the holidays if you are feeling tired or emotional.
2. Treat your divorce like you would a business deal. Starting with an aggressive approach can quickly increase the financial and emotional costs of your divorce. Being respectful and thinking before you act will serve you well in the long run.
3. Put together a team of professionals. A psychologist can help you make sure that you are thinking clearly; a certified financial planner can help you understand the financial implications of divorce; and a family lawyer can explain the legal aspects so you can understand your rights and what options you have before you move forward.
If you are considering divorce, Hess Family Law can provide advice based on your particular situation and goals. More information can be read on the Hess Family Law Blog Post Are You Surprised Divorce Filings Rise In January.