Many couples choose to wait until after the holidays to initiate divorce. They do not want their families to associate the generally happy, festive season with a sad event. Not to mention that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve all occur within a hectic five-six week period, leaving little time for hammering out legal agreements. It makes people wonder, is January “divorce month?” 

Given these facts, it’s not surprising that the courts experience a surge in January divorce filings. People see the beginning of a new year as a time to evaluate where they are and where they’d like to see themselves in the future. Leaving an unhappy marriage is a way to bring about positive change in their lives. These days, that process can be easier and less contentious thanks to improvements in the law.

In 2010, New York became the last state in the U.S. to enact laws making it a “no fault” divorce state. This is a full 41 years behind California, the first state in the nation to pass legislation that ended requiring a legal reason for divorce.

New beginnings

Although technically, there is no good time to get divorced from an emotional standpoint, there are certainly ways to keep it cordial. Rather than making every step litigious and acrimonious, couples can meet out of court for civil negotiations. When they are seeking to reach a fair settlement rather than punish each other, the entire process is quicker, less expensive, and less traumatic.

Divorce rates in January increase because people are interested in a fresh start. The legal process is necessary for ending a part of their life that’s not working and moving forward toward a better future.

Don’t delay divorce

If you decided not to go through with filing for divorce before the holidays, you’re in good company. Most people prefer to wait until they are not overwhelmed with parties and family obligations. Now that the holiday season is behind you, however, don’t be afraid to get started.

Getting divorced in January or the early part of the year allows for the whole year to figure out how to disentangle finances prior to being required to file taxes. And it gives you plenty of time to become established in your new circumstances when the season rolls around again. You can enjoy the holidays without the stress of being in an unhappy marriage.

Please feel free to call JWB Family Law if you have any questions about how to initiate the divorce process. We can help guide you through all of the steps with the compassion, professionalism, and expertise that comes with many years in the field.

The Importance of the CFLS Designation

A Certified Family Law Specialist, or CFLS, is an attorney who has obtained certification in the standards of California family law and demonstrated optimal legal competence. Attorneys who obtain this certification have specific expertise in all aspects of family law, which includes divorce or the dissolution of marriage, child and spousal support, child custody, and temporary restraining orders, among other areas of emphasis.

Not every attorney practicing family law has obtained this certification. In fact, the designation remains relatively rare—there are fewer than 2,000 CFLS attorneys in California and fewer than 200 in San Diego.

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