Your Last Summer Before Divorce

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 emotionally exhausted.
  • 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.

Related: 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 child support, child custody, 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.