To many, the holidays are a time for joy and cheer. For others, though, it is a time to prepare for filing for divorce. In fact, despite many families spending time together during the holidays and even taking trips together, studies have shown that divorce filings see an uptick in January, only to peak in March. While gifts may be exchanged and the New Year celebrated, many husbands and wives spend much of their December choosing a divorce attorney and deciding how best to proceed with the dissolution process. They try to determine if mediation or a collaborative divorce is an option for them, or if the marriage has soured to the point that litigation will be necessary.
Though many wait until January to file for divorce in order to give their children a happy holiday season, others choose January for financial reasons. A high-earning spouse, for example, may choose to file for divorce early in the year to prevent a future bonus from being deemed marital property and thus be subjected to property division. Timing can be quite important when it comes to divorce, so those considering marriage dissolution should carefully consider their options.
Though divorce filings spike in January, other family law issues become even more disputed during the holiday season. In particular, child custody matters can become hotly debated during this time of year, with each parent wanting to spend the holidays with their children. In these instances, parents should be sure to consult their divorce agreement and an attorney to help resolve any child custody and visitation discrepancies.
Divorce is a difficult thing to deal with, no matter which side of the coin one falls on. However, by having a compassionate and competent ally on one's side in the form of a family law attorney, an individual may be able to resolve the matter in a fashion that suits them and leaves them feeling they were treated fairly throughout the process.
Source: The Miami Herald, "Studies show couples wait until after holidays to divorce" Tim Grant, Dec. 14, 2015