Once the holidays are over, divorce attorneys across the nation enter into the busiest divorce season of the year. January symbolizes a fresh start and with the holidays having come to an end, there is a huge spike in divorce filings across the nation.
Why is January such a popular month for divorce? A lot of it comes down to not wanting to call it quits during November and December, the busiest holiday season of the year. More often than not, couples prefer to keep their families “intact” during Christmas and Hanukkah, for emotional and financial reasons.
If you feel like a failure because you can’t seem to keep your marriage together – don’t! Roughly 40 to 50 percent of all first marriages in the United States end in divorce and the risk of divorce are even higher with second and third marriages, reports the American Psychological Association.
If you are headed towards divorce, here are some things that you should NOT do while your divorce is pending through the courts:
Don’t do this alone.
Divorce is stressful and emotionally difficult, even if you are the one who wants the divorce. Most people simply can’t imagine the emotions they’re going to be flooded with until the divorce is real. While it’s important to lean on friends and family for support, you need professional advice from an experienced divorce attorney.
Don’t refuse to see a therapist.
If your divorce causes you to feel significantly depressed or down, don’t stay in bed for weeks on end and shut everybody out of your life. Instead, seek emotional support from a therapist or counselor. Your friends can give you a shoulder to lean on; however, a therapist can be a nonbiased sounding board. If you’re a private person, you can take comfort in the “confidential relationship” you’ll have with your therapist, and you won’t have to worry about them telling others about your conversations.
Don’t tell everyone else before telling your children.
Don’t announce your divorce on Facebook before telling your children. Ideally, you and your spouse will sit your children down and tell them together before telling anyone else. Be sure to show your children a “united front” and reassure them the divorce is NOT their fault.
Don’t talk about your divorce on social media.
It’s never a good idea to air your dirty laundry on social media. Even if your husband ran off with his secretary, or your wife ran back to her ex-boyfriend after reconnecting on Facebook, you should not share it with the world. Divorce lawyers are in the practice of using social media accounts to dig up information on spouses, so you don’t want to say or do anything that can be used against you in court.
If you have children, don’t put yourself first.
If you’re a parent, you should not take off on vacation leaving your children with a babysitter, or start a new romance while your divorce is pending in the courts. Instead, you should be putting your children first. When you file for divorce, focus on your children’s emotions and creating quality family time with them.
Don’t stay in the dark about your finances.
If your spouse has always handled the bills, don’t stay in the dark. It’s critical that you familiarize yourself with the finances. We recommend making copies of all the financial records, going back three years. Copy the tax returns, W2s and 1099s, bank statements, credit card statements, and mortgage loan documents etc.
Don’t ignore your credit.
If you don’t have any credit, you don’t want to keep it that way. Whether you’re a husband or wife, you must understand that credit is so important to starting a new life. If you don’t have any credit because everything has been in your spouse’s name, you need to start building credit in your name today.
Don’t wait for your spouse’s apology.
Did your spouse cheat on you? Did your spouse treat you poorly for years? If you feel that your spouse has wronged you, don’t wait for an apology that may never come. Instead of feeling angry or bitter, practice forgiveness.
Don’t have romantic encounters with your future ex.
You’re divorcing this person for a good reason. If you’ve decided to go through with the divorce, having romantic encounters with your soon-to-be ex will only complicate matters, especially if you have children together. Instead of dating or having confusing flings with your spouse, handle your divorce like it’s a business matter. You don’t want anything clouding your vision, especially during settlement negotiations.
Don’t stay bitter about the divorce.
It’s a fact for most – divorce is difficult! No matter why your marriage ended, try not to stay bitter about it. Even if your spouse dives into a new relationship right after the separation, don’t let that drag you down. If you can, stay upbeat and positive and look forward to your future and what it will bring.
Don’t badmouth your spouse.
There’s never a better time to take the highroad than during a divorce. Whatever you do, don’t badmouth your ex in front of your kids or on social media. It’s OK to share intimate details with your therapist and your best friend; however, you should not discuss the dirty details at work, at church, or with neighbors. Trust us, when the divorce is over, you’ll be glad you didn’t badmouth your spouse during the divorce process.
If you’re looking for a divorce attorney in Los Angeles, call Claery & Hammond, LLP for a free consultation. We are here to protect your best interests throughout the divorce process.