January is also traditionally a popular time for couples to file for divorce. Some even refer to it as divorce month. The name is attributed to the timing where it is best to wait until after the holidays to file or announce the split, particularly if the spouses have young children. It can either be an agreement between the spouses or one deciding to file. The stress of the holiday season may also be the last straw for one or both of them. The next common triggering event thereafter will be Valentine’s Day.
Successful preparation starts with these three steps
Those who plan to file early in the new year should start preparing in December. Divorce is a complex process, and there are some necessary early steps for beginning this life-changing course of action:
- Gather paperwork: Scan or make copies of tax returns, mortgage statements, financial records (including retirement accounts), insurance policies, car loans, and other papers related to the marriage. Documenting these early on can help identify any attempts to hide assets or unnecessarily deplete accounts.
- Take inventory: Rather than trust a spouse to do this, it is best to document all significant assets accrued during the marriage and valuable ones brought to the marriage but used by the family. This latter category includes businesses, real estate, artwork, collections, vehicles, boats and other valuable objects. Photographs and videos of assets are very helpful in preparing Inventory Forms later, during the actual divorce.
- Contact an experienced Family Law attorney: Successful and highly recommended attorneys’ schedules can fill up quickly in the new year, particularly if they are an experienced, Board-Certified Texas family law expert attorney who frequently handles nasty divorces. The client may want to schedule initial consultations in December to discuss possible strategies and other details important to the client.
Thinking about these important issues and others in the coming days is a useful first step towards achieving that New Year’s resolution.