January Is Divorce Season: Restore the Past to Build a Better Future or Start Anew?

Divorce filings jump by one-third in January by some statistics. Unhappy couples don’t want to break up the marriage during the holidays, so they wait until January.

My first recommendation when considering divorce is to first consider rebuilding your marriage. Go to several counselors until you find a counselor who is a good “fit” for both parties. There are obvious benefits for both spouses to attend counseling. It can, however, be a benefit to go to counseling even if only one party goes. Remember, you can’t change another person; you can only change your response to them. Counseling can assist you with this and perhaps give you a different perspective about your marriage.

Do not build your “dream home” or have another baby in efforts to build or restore your marriage. I have heard this many times, and it does not work. Generally, it exacerbates the stresses of a shaky marriage.

When preparing for divorce, it is common to feel overwhelmed, which makes it difficult to know where to begin. Prepare yourself for divorce by doing the following:

1. Create a list of all of your assets and debts, with supporting documents.

2. Take an inventory of all personal property.

3. Make a list of all separate property. This is property you had prior to marriage or property that was inherited.

4. If you don’t have much of a credit history, start your own credit history and open credit cards in your name only.

5. Get a copy of your credit report to insure that your spouse is not dissipating marital assets on significant others. If you are concerned that your soon to be ex-spouse might borrow money in your name, you might want to sign up for a credit monitoring service.

Last, but not least, consult with an experienced family attorney as soon as possible.

“I’m setting sail…are you with me or not?”