The first month of the new year is reportedly the most popular time of year to file for divorce. January – the divorce month is ominously nicknamed “Divorce Month” in legal circles. Sure, the holidays are hectic, and relationship issues can come into sharper focus when stressed-out couples spend more time together. But is January’s bad rap really deserved?
For better or worse, the numbers suggest that “Divorce Month” is real. According to statistics published by eDivorcePapers.com, January has the most legal breakups.
Certified divorce consultant Cathy Meyer agrees: “Absolutely. January consistently sees the most divorce filings. It just really amazes me, though it probably shouldn’t…my own husband left in January.”
Some say that couples have reached a decision to divorce before the holidays, but they wanted to give the children one last happy holiday.
They wanted to enjoy family and friends one last time before filing for divorce.
Some divorce from the stress of the holiday shopping, and getting together with relatives, and the constant being together as a couple. If there were problems before, the holidays can be a constant irritant.
Some see the year-end as a time of reflections and resolutions. “Unhappy spouses assess their situation and say to themselves, ‘I just can’t take another year like this.”
And that leads to the major reason to sell the home. Many couples, once they have decided to divorce, want to sell the house fast and start a new life.
Many people, when confronted with the prospect of divorce, want to know how assets will be divided. Couples starting the new year with a divorce may find untangling finances is no easy feat.
The right time to start separating joint finances depends on the divorce, said John Slowiaczek, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Some couples draw a line in the sand, preferring to obtain court orders to set out their obligations and separate their finances while the proceedings take place.
More commonly, couples adopt a “status quo” approach, keeping their finances entwined until the proceedings are final.
“Most often, I think the benchmark you would say is at the decree,” he said. “That’s when most people start the unraveling.”
If there is child custody involved, I would guess the courts put more emphasis on keeping a parent and children in the house when it comes to settlement. Don’t forget debts are part of the process.
When it comes to children involved in the divorce, the main principle is to recognize the duty of both parents to contribute to the support of their children in proportion to their respective net incomes.