Over time January has been unofficially coined divorce month for allegedly having higher divorce rates than other months. Whether it is a tough holiday season or just a coincidence, people are convinced that with the new year comes a large number of couples filing for divorce. Is that true? Does January really live up to its reputation?

Not entirely in my opinion. While January sparks enthusiasm among individuals to evaluate their life and possibly consider the status of their relationship, the process usually stops there. In reality, February and March present a higher number of couples filing for divorce. A common concern from couples is that they want to find a “good time” to start the divorce process.  The reality is that timing is never perfect, as there are always other events or holidays around the corner. While there is never really a convenient time, it is true that some couples may find that the calm after the holiday storm presents an opportunity to make a change.

Although January may not technically be “divorce month” it does play its part in the divorce process. January is a time when many couples re-evaluate their relationship and take a good look at their overall happiness.  With the media constantly pushing New Years resolutions, this could be one of them.  The reality is that couples use January as a planning period in preparation for actually filing for divorce in February or March. During the month of January, it is important to keep a few key concepts in mind:

  1. How do you envision your divorce? Amicable? Contentious? It is important to have a realistic picture in mind to prepare yourself for what is to come.
  2. Tailor divorce to your family’s specific needs. Divorce is not a one size fits all process. Be sure to talk to a professional about what approach will best fit your family.
  3. Gather financial documents. This process can be challenging, and it is a good idea to get started as soon as possible.
  4. Find the right attorney. It is important to find an attorney who understands who you are and what you are looking for and that they are willing to meet your needs. Interviewing more than one attorney is a good idea to find the right fit.

While January may not be “divorce month” it is a time when practitioners see a rise in couples evaluating what is best for their family moving forward in the new year. If you are considering a divorce be sure to keep these key concepts in mind to ensure a smooth process for you and your spouse.

Morgan Stogsdill, Partner