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A New Year- A Fresh Start!

"New Year - Fresh Start!" Written in a Planner on January 1st

In my years of practice as a New Jersey Divorce Attorney, I have found certain trends appear in terms of the time of year people decide to file for divorce. Often times, people wait to file despite knowing that is in fact what they are going to do sooner rather than later. What are they waiting for? In many cases- the “New Year”. Along with the usual “New Year Resolutions”, I have found that “Divorce Resolutions” are just as popular for couples that have been contemplating a divorce. It appears the holiday weight is not the only thing people are looking to get rid of in the new year.

There are several times a year when I see an influx of new divorce clients in my practice and after the new year is the biggest one. Over the years I have found that many people wait until the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over and enter the new year with the goal of taking the first step into their new future. A new year /new life motto- if you will. While the decision to divorce is certainly never easy, I have found that when people decide to file in the new year, they look at it as starting over as opposed to looking at it as an end to something.

If you are considering starting the new year by filing for divorce here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Be prepared: I recommend all my clients become experts on their finances before filing. You should know what your monthly expenses are, how much each party earns, any outstanding debts or liabilities you have, as well as the value of your assets. Gather your bank statements, retirement statements, credit card statements and any other documentation that outlines your finances. The more you know the easier it will be to determine what you are entitled to, and you will be better informed to make decisions that will impact your financial future.
  2. Find someone to talk to: I recommend that all my clients engage some sort of support system during their divorce, specifically a therapist. While friends and family are often available to lend a shoulder to lean on, my experience has shown that a neutral third party therapist can offer non-biased counsel that help my clients during this difficult time. Even people that are eager to get divorced and do not appear to be upset by the decision to end their marriage are advised to speak to someone. Whether you are happy about your divorce or devastated, the fact remains that it is a huge life change that will require some adjustment. You will be better able to deal with this change if you vocalize your concerns regarding the same and work through those concerns with a professional.
  3. Think about your children: For those who have children, they should be your number one concern during the divorce process. While you may be getting divorced, you will continue to be connected to your soon to be ex through your children well after the end of the marriage. Discuss how you will tell the children and if possible do it together. This will be a difficult time for your children. They will deal with it better if they see you and your soon to be ex able to work together for their benefit.
  4. Avoid Social Media: In today’s world we have the potential to broadcast our every move to 500 of our closest “friends” in the blink of an eye. Don’t do it. While you may have very legitimate reasons for wanting to publicly disparage your soon to be ex on social media, perhaps show off your new partner, or even take a selfie while you are out dancing with your friends, I recommend keeping your divorce and your business off social media until your case is over. It takes one second to screen shot a post that will then be shown in Court and possibly used against you. Think before you post.
  5. Be Realistic: Divorce often comes with financial changes as it is often impossible to sustain two households on the same income used to sustain one. If you go into the process understanding that budgets may need to be put in place and that your life may not look exactly the same post-divorce, you are well on your way to handling the process in a positive manner.

Divorce is rarely a pleasant occurrence, however with the right mind set and right attorney, the process can be streamlined so that it can be completed without unnecessary fighting and delays. If you are contemplating a divorce in the new year do not hesitate to reach out to our New Jersey divorce law firm to discuss your rights in a free consultation. We wish everyone a healthy and happy 2017.

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