The month of January is often referred to as “divorce month.” This may not seem surprising to people who find themselves ready to file for divorce around this time. After all, it makes sense that people would prefer to wait until after the holidays to make such a decision; and what better time to make a big change than at the start of new year?
If you are in this position and are ready to end a marriage, you should understand that a divorce isn’t going to happen overnight. As noted in this CNN article, there is some preparation to be done before filing for divorce and considerations to make in order to seek a more peaceful split.
- Start gathering financial documentation. Familiarize yourself with your family’s expenditures and earnings. Take note of any bank and credit accounts that are open as well as any unusual deposits or withdrawals. Also, collect tax returns from previous years. Financial documentation will be crucial during the property division process.
- Think about your kids. While you may have been thinking about divorce for quite some time, the decision could come as a complete surprise to your children. Take time to consider how you want to tell your children and how you plan to answer their questions.
- Avoid drastic solutions like moving out of the family home. In some cases, such a decision could be considered abandonment, which could affect child custody and property division.
- Protect shared accounts. You may want to consider freezing shared accounts to avoid situations where someone drains an account or buys something that cannot be divided.
In addition to these preparatory steps, you would also be wise to consult an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer can help you understand the many legal elements of divorce, from child support to asset evaluation, so that you have a better idea of what exactly to expect and how to plan ahead.
Getting divorced is rarely quick or easy, but it also doesn’t have to destroy your entire year. Being prepared and seeking out legal resources and support can help you navigate this process a little more easily and hopefully avoid serious battles.
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Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.
Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.
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