Have you found yourself searching online for divorce information as the New Year begins? Well, you are not alone. Many legal experts note that divorce filings spike this time of year for a number of reasons.
“Divorce is seasonal,” says Vicky Townsend, co-founder and chief executive of the National Association of Divorce Professionals, which includes lawyers, therapists and financial advisers who may be used in divorce proceedings.
She explains that couples may have been considering divorce in the final months of last year, but put it off over the holidays. And all the talk of New Year’s resolutions gets them thinking again about a new year and a fresh start.
Some conclude “the holidays are over, and I’m not going into this year as miserable as I was last year,” she adds.
Divorce specialists also cite potential tax reasons, unique state laws, or facts surrounding a specific case that may determine why and when couples file for divorce.
Whatever the reason, if you are considering divorce in 2020, the sooner you start to prepare the better. In Texas, there is a minimum waiting period of 60 days from the time you file until you can legally obtain a final decree of divorce, if a couple agrees quickly to settlement details. In our office, we usually see most divorce cases take at least six months, but may take many more months depending on the case and the couple involved.
We advise individuals who are considering divorce to learn all they can about the divorce process in Texas, even before they file. Also, get up to speed quickly on all your marital finances. Begin pulling financial documents together and making copies of bank statements, retirement and investment accounts, your mortgage statement, loans and credit card statements, the last three years of your income tax filings, and more. Order recent credit reports on yourself and your spouse. Then, become very familiar with all the details of these documents.
Identify a number of experienced board certified, divorce family law attorneys and make consultation appointments with several to find one you connect with. Bring as much information about your case with you and have your questions ready. Knowledge about your finances will help your divorce attorney offer appropriate advice to guide you on several levels.
Consider attending an upcoming Guide to Good Divorce seminar this year. These are information-packed workshops that offer presentations from several divorce experts, including myself, as well as divorce financial analysts and wellness professionals. I founded the program in 2011 and have enjoyed helping hundreds of women make the transition through divorce to their next best life.
It is a New Year, and a New Decade. It’s time to live your best life.