It’s not just a rumor; a January divorce is popular among many, especially those with children.
eDivorcePapers.com cites January as the month with the most legal breakups. FindLaw.com, a legal information website, also notes divorces spiking in January. The site also says “divorce” and related search phrases increased 50 percent from December 2010 to January 2011.
“Technically, the actual divorces aren’t finalized in January, but there does seem to be an increase in the number of initial consultations at the beginning of each year for individuals seeking information and legal advice about separation and divorce,” said Lynn McNally, a family law attorney at Smith Debnam Law. “We generally refer to November and December as the ‘calm before the storm.’”
She believes many people, especially those with young children, wait to get through the holidays.
McNally said a lot of people try to complete marriage separations already in motion before the end of the year for tax purposes.
But the start of January is also a good time financially to separate, according to Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Bob Watral.
“All financial institutions and retirement plan providers have to provide account owners with a year-end statement,” Watral said. “And for the purpose of dividing assets and debts subsequent to divorce, year-end statements work really well.”
Watral facilitates Second Saturday Wake County, a monthly workshop for those considering divorce at any time of year. Each second Saturday of the month, a family law attorney, a financial professional and a family therapist offer unbiased information for those thinking about untying the knot.
Watral and McNally offer these tips for someone thinking about a January divorce:
- Meet with a Board Certified Family Law attorney ASAP, even before sharing your intentions with your spouse. It is only by meeting, in confidence, with an attorney that you can get a real picture of what you face.
- Make copies of all current statements having anything to do with the couple’s assets and liabilities; the household budget; tax returns.
- Take an inventory of all of the assets and debts owned by either or both of the spouses.
- If possible, come to an initial legal consultation with some idea of your legal budget and personal goals and priorities.
Do you have questions about filing for divorce? Ask questions directly of an attorney, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and a therapist during the monthly Second Saturday Wake County divorce workshop. Register now.