California summers have a way of stirring up all kinds of thoughts and
memories – hot summer days by the ocean, ice cream trucks playing
music, sprinklers, pool parties, summer camping trips, vacations to the
in-laws, kids sleeping in, scorching temperatures, and for unhappily married
couples...waiting for just the right time to file for divorce.
If you have been seriously contemplating
divorce, you have a lot to think about, namely the
timing of your divorce. Now that it’s the summertime, do you file for divorce
while the kids are out of school, or do you file for divorce during the
fall? There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question
but we can tell you that September and January are the two busiest months
for divorces; these are the true
divorce seasons.But why is this?
For couples with children, they often want to hold off on the filing of
their divorce until after summer vacations and the holiday season are
officially over. For example, Mom and Dad will want one last summer vacation
together as a family before they divorce. Or, they’ll want to enjoy
one last holiday season before pulling the plug on their marriage.
What About Childless Couples?
Childless couples are not confined to the same constraints as parents with
minor children living at home. So, it’s less common for a married
couple to want to stay together to have “one last summer together”
or one last Christmas or Hanukah together.
Quite the contrary, if a childless couple is unhappy, they usually want
to get the divorce over with. Occasionally though, a couple will have
a family’s summer wedding to attend or non-refundable tickets for
a vacation and in those situations, they may decide to stick it out a
little longer until the divorce is more convenient.
When a Summer Divorce is Better
For some couples, a summer divorce is more favorable, even if they have
children together. This is especially the case when there are issues over
domestic violence or psychological abuse. If the home environment is chronically
plagued by physical abuse against a spouse or children, verbal abuse,
manipulation, and overbearing control, it is not a healthy environment
for the innocent spouse and children.
Even if the children are not being physically abused but they witness spousal
abuse, it is a very toxic environment and no family vacation should ever
be put in front of the children’s emotional well-being. In fact,
psychological abuse (emotional abuse) is classified as domestic violence under
California law; therefore, it should not be minimized or ignored.
Signs of psychological abuse in a marriage:
- You were self-confident before the relationship and now you’re insecure
and doubt yourself.
- You always think your spouse’s behavior is your fault and all you
have to do is be better and make him or her happier.
- When you think about divorce, you suddenly feel confused and indecisive.
- When you used to feel happy and content, nowadays you feel anxious and
- If you start to have a good opinion of yourself, you’ll begin to
question your judgement and lose confidence.
- The insecurities you had before the marriage have intensified.
- Your spouse isolates you from friends and family.
- Your spouse ignores and belittles you.
- Your spouse yells at you and calls you names.
- Your spouse gives you the silent treatment.
- Your spouse questions your every move.
- You feel like you can’t do anything right.
“Psychological abuse, though, can be just as devastating as physical
abuse,” writes Natasha Tracy in
HealthyPlace.“Psychological abuse can affect your inner thoughts and feelings
as well as exert control over your life. You may feel uncertain of the
world around you and unsafe in your home,” says Tracy.
If you are a victim of physical or psychological abuse, you should seriously
consider filing for divorce sooner than later. Often, emotional abuse
exists before physical violence and it’s not uncommon for verbal
abuse to escalate to full-blown physical abuse. Even if verbal abuse never
turns physical, it can be just as harmful and if there are children at
home witnessing such abuse or if they are victims of it, it’s important
that it be stopped.
Are You Crazy or Emotionally Abused?
Preparing for Your Divorce
Whether you decide to get divorced this month or after school starts, the
preparations are the same. And, the more prepared you are the better.
Here’s what you need to do to start
preparing for your divorce:
- Contact a divorce attorney before you tell your spouse you want a divorce.
The attorney’s advice will be very helpful.
Get educated on California’s
property and debt division, and no-fault divorce laws so you understand your rights and responsibilities.
- Do not hide any assets as this will be frowned upon by the judge.
- Do a post-divorce budget and figure out what it will cost to support yourself
as a single person.
Will you possibly be paying or receiving
spousal support or child support? If so, how much and for how long?
- Run your credit report and your spouse’s credit report with all three
credit reporting bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) so you know
exactly what is owed and to whom.
Make copies ofall of your financial records, including bank statements, recent taxes, retirement accounts, auto loans,
credit cards, mortgage documents, etc. These may be harder to get ahold
of after you file divorce.
- Adopt the mindset that you’ll have an amicable divorce. Once you
file, strive to work with your spouse to achieve a mutually beneficial
settlement. If you behave calmly it should help your spouse react better
to the divorce.
- Make the decision that from this day forward, you will treat your spouse
with dignity and respect throughout the divorce and afterwards, especially
if you have children together.
- Treat your divorce as a business decision and keep your emotions out of
it. You don’t want to say or do something that you’ll later regret.
We hope this information has helped you. To schedule a free case evaluation
with a compassionate and experienced member of our legal team,
contact our Los Angeles divorce firm today. We look forward to hearing from you.