New Year, New You?
January has become known as “divorce month”. Not only do the number of divorces nationwide spike in January, but the number of online searches for divorce and divorce-related terms also spike in January and continue through March, with a peak in late March. (Perhaps March should also be titled “divorce month” because it appears those who began their research in January are ready to bite the bullet in March.)
Why January is “Divorce Month”
As we noted in a previous post, we suspect a lot of people put off filing for divorce until January because they prefer to keep peace during the holidays. They don’t want to ruin the holidays for the kids or other family members by announcing a split during what ought to be a time of fun and togetherness. Maybe they figure they can stick it out and put on a happy face, and then once the festivities come to a close, they can deliver the Big News.
Others wait till the New Year to file for divorce because of financial reasons (such as an end-of-the-year bonus) or for tax filing conveniences.
Or, maybe as people reflect on the year coming to a close and plan for the year ahead, they get the push they need to make some big changes in their lives. Nothing motivates like New Year’s Resolutions, right?
The truth is, there’s never a “good time” to file for divorce. But there is a “right time”, and that’s very subjective — it’s based on your life, your feelings, and your decisions. You decide when the right time is. Of course, it’s always advisable to be prudent and think through the consequences for your children, family, finances, taxes, etc., which is probably why many people choose January as the right time for them.
How to Begin the Process in January
If you have been contemplating filing for divorce and you’ve put it off, now might be the right time to begin your research. Don’t worry, you won’t be locked into making a decision right away — you’re simply exploring your options.
Start by calling a divorce lawyer. Be sure he or she has lots of experience and specializes in divorce and family law. If you have any unique circumstances, make sure the lawyer is well acquainted with those also. Also be sure this divorce lawyer is someone you feel comfortable sharing your story with. Trust your intuition!
A good divorce lawyer will take his or her time with you in your (free!) consultation, to be sure you’re a good fit for each other. He or she will answer your questions and make every effort to ensure you understand your options and the foreseeable process that lies ahead. And most importantly, he or she will not pressure you into anything you’re not ready for.
Starting your research by speaking to a reputable divorce attorney will help you make the best decisions for yourself.