The holidays are all about, cheer, family, and friends with the additions of over-spending and over-eating and they are generally a dark time for divorces. Meaning, it is rare for a new case to be initiated and filed in December. But January is the beginning of the end for many marriages.
The holidays are difficult for troubled marriages. But many couples put off discussions of ending their marriages or these decisions for their children (if they have minors) until the Christmas lights are put away. It is too stressful to do holidays and begin a dissolution at the same time.
January historically has been the time most people began to seriously think about dissolutions and this is supported by research and filing statistics on new filing, which peak in March and increase in the summertime.
The question of when its time to end a marriage is really a terrible question to even contemplate. But sometimes, abuse infidelity, depression or other serious reasons drive the decision. I always advise my clients to do everything possible to resolve their marital problems before making the decision to end the marriage. If for any reason, you think there is a chance to save the marriage, then you should take it. This is not a decision that you want to second guess later on, especially if there are children involved.
If divorce is something you are considering, here are some things to keep in mind.
If possible, have an honest and frank conversation with your spouse about what you are considering and why. If there are issues of abuse, this might not be possible, but if you can, even addressing some of the issues in the marriage can save it or help you end it more peacefully. Marriage counseling and parenting counseling could also be helpful and help to identify that challenges that you are facing and what can be overcome or not. If you are ready to move on, then here are some things to do in order to be better prepared.
Understand your Finances: It is not unusual for one spouse to have greater knowledge and access to financial information in a marriage. There is nothing unusual about this or wrong, but when you are considering a divorce ignorance is not bliss. Gather as much financial information as possible, bank accounts, property records and tax returns are all necessary information to have in a dissolution. Log into the online bank account or accounts and gather all the accounts that you have access too. And make copies. This will give you peace of mind when preparing for your financial disclosures.
Records: Gather your passports, birth certificate, tax returns, and title records. You should make copies for yourself or your spouse and reach an agreement on who keeps the originals for the children's passports. This is normally not an issue, unless there is some concern about the other parent removing the child from the country, and if that is a concern, then you should seek an immediate Court Order preventing it.
Consider Where You Want to Live Post-Separation: With a separation, someone will have to leave the family home and it may eventually be sold. Go into the divorce with the understanding that your living environment will eventually change and be prepared. Identify where you and if you have children will live and what options do you have for the near and far future.
Be Realistic About Your Finances: When incomes are divided, life styles are often reduced. That is just simple math. If you are the stay-at-home spouse or non-working spouse, start thinking about going back to work or school and the best way to maximize your own income. This is the rest of your life, so this decision should be about maximizing your own future, not waiting on someone else.
Be Wise about Your Influences: The phrase “show me your friends and I'll show you your future,” is just as true in the context of divorces as any other part of your life. For example, when seeking advice, choose wise friends and friends prone to dramatics. Those people can be fun to spend time with but if you want to get through the dissolution process without extra drama, save them for small talk.
Most importantly, selecting a Certified Family Law Specialist to help you will help on the path to peace. Please contact for information or advice.