Were you one of the many people in Tucson who made the mad rush to your favorite department stores on Black Friday? What about Small Business Saturday? That has become more popular in recent years as well. Here’s one you might not have heard of yet: Divorce Monday. Studies show so many people file for divorce on the first Monday of a new year that the day has been dubbed as such. In fact, the entire month of January apparently fills family courts like no other month in the year.
What’s the motivating force behind this trend?
There are actually several reasonable explanations as to why Divorce Monday and January are such popular times to file for divorce. You might relate to one or more of the following:
- Avoids contention during holidays: It’s not uncommon to start making holiday plans as early as September. Travel, work parties and family gatherings often take place from Thanksgiving through New Year. Many people put off filing for divorce during such times so they won’t disrupt family celebrations.
- Allows one final Christmas (or Hanukkah or ?): Even if you and your spouse are well aware you are planning to divorce, you would not be the first couple to choose to have one final holiday as a family before starting formal court proceedings.
- Plans for a New Year and new life: By waiting until January to serve divorce papers, the process becomes more of a positive goal rather than a stressful, negative experience.
You may decide to delay your divorce until after the New Year so you can incorporate your decision as part of your new resolutions.
Are there benefits to waiting for the New Year?
There are several reasons, in addition to delaying proceedings for the sake of harmonious family celebrations, that waiting for January to file for divorce may be beneficial, such as:
- Any work bonus your spouse receives at the end of a year would likely be considered marital property.
- Holidays can be stressful, which can lead to frustration and emotional outbursts, and this is not very conducive to peaceable settlements. Waiting until after the holidays are over often provides the time you (and all involved) need to “cool down.”
- Serving divorce papers during high-shopping months may prompt a spouse to rack up a huge credit card bill or pull the plug on a savings account, just for spite. Delaying the process until January may be a good idea as there aren’t as many logical reasons to spend money after the holidays are over.
There’s no right or wrong here. You may choose to file for divorce whenever you deem the time is best.
Now, then, whenever:
Regardless whether your divorce proceedings begin at the end of one year or beginning of a new one, there are several things you can do to alleviate the stressful aspects of your situation:
- Maintain good health: Remembering to eat right and get plenty of rest will help strengthen your mind and body so you are better able to face any challenges that arise.
- Gather information: Seeking clarification of Arizona laws before you show up in court lessens the possibility of being caught off-guard by negative surprises.
- Think positive: Divorce is seldom easy but once you’ve made the decision, there’s no need to dwell on the negative aspects. By thinking positive thoughts, you make it easier to move forward, especially if you have children.
- Seek support: By allowing a family law attorney to advocate on your behalf, you have more time to focus on your family.
If you are getting divorced, which month you go to settlement may be secondary to ensuring the protections of your rights and best interests. Your attorney can address any problematic issues that arise to keep you out of the line of fire in the courtroom. By acting alongside the alliance of a skilled and experienced attorney, you can take one proactive step at a time toward a happy, successful future.