There is a consensus among many divorce lawyers and others that January is the “divorce month.” This would seem to make sense since people who have been contemplating a dissolution of their marriage seize on the new year as an opportunity to cut loose from failure and to begin anew. Others may be wanting to wait until the holidays are over before introducing the stress of a divorce into their lives and those of their children.


Statistics from divorce attorneys and visits to divorce web sites would seem to bear this out as web site visits spike in January and appear to peak in March. Another explanation may be that depression, long been known to increase during the holiday season when individuals who are already depressed, see their feelings of loneliness, money worries, or frustration enhanced when the season emphasizes joy, family togetherness and gift giving among friends and family. There are studies showing that during the holidays, incidents of spousal cheating also appear to increase as a way to deal with these stresses leading to the upturn in January divorce filings by their spouses who uncover the indiscretions.


A more practical explanation for the increase in divorce filings or inquiries is that couples wait before filing for divorce for tax purposes. It is your marital status as of December 31 that determines if you file jointly or individually for the past year.


Before filing for divorce, you should be prepared for the experience and take a step back to think if this is what you truly want or need and if your life will be any better as a result. You may wish to discuss counseling or therapy with your spouse to see if you can work out the underlying issues threatening your marriage. There are other things you can do to prepare for a divorce:


Be well-informed about the divorce laws and process.

Divorces are not instantly granted even if it is uncontested. You will have several months to reconsider and to reorganize your life before the date of Absolute Divorce.


Save money

Few divorces are cheap especially if you and your spouse cannot agree on child custody, support and the division of assets. You will usually have to forego certain expenditures for a time until the divorce is over.


Prepare your children. Even if the children are probably expecting it, telling them that you are separating and divorcing is a shock. Be truthful regarding the reasons and emphasize that they are not the reason and that both parents will continue to be available and instrumental in their lives. Try to make as few changes in their lives as possible.


Safety precautions. Some spouses do not react well to divorce or to the announcement and have a history of violence. If you fear for your safety, prepare for a place to stay and talk to an attorney about a restraining or protective order if necessary.


See emotional support. Having friends to support you and to seek outlets like exercise while maintaining a healthy diet can relieve stress and keep you focused on what lies ahead.


Hire an experienced divorce attorney. One of the most essential things you need is a divorce lawyer well-experienced in domestic issues and the emotional trauma that often accompanies divorce. Your divorce attorney can refer you to counseling, find a shelter for you if necessary, draft and request interim orders from the court to secure you financially, and protect your rights and interests. If mediation is possible, your lawyer can guide and advise you through this alternative dispute resolution process as well.



Doug Lovenberg is an experienced Boston divorce lawyer who has represented both men and women in divorce cases with a proven record of successful resolution of the issues common to any divorce. Call him today if you have any questions about a Boston divorce matter.