Court Records Reveal Most Divorces are Filed in January Each Year

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one state (Kansas) had a higher divorce rate in 2009 than in 2000. The rest of America has seen a steady decline during the last several years, and many have attributed this trend to the sluggish economy. For example, marriage provides tax advantages, other monetary benefits, and married individuals might feel as if they could not support themselves following divorce.

Additionally, Fox News reports that only 51 percent of American citizens are married, which represents the lowest percentage since divorce data has been reported. This means that fewer people are eligible for a divorce on a percentage basis, which could be another factor explaining the recent downward trend.

Expected January Divorce Spike

Each year January is the month when courts around America accept the largest number of divorce filings. Psychology Today offers several reasons for this spike in filings, for example people view New Year's as an appropriate time to take their lives in another direction. Additionally, couples might hesitate to disrupt their families over the holidays, especially if children are involved.

Regardless of the reason, thousands of couples are undoubtedly preparing to separate in the coming months, many of whom have no idea how to prepare for a divorce and its proceedings.

Divorce Checklist

Many people who get divorced mistakenly believe that the only step is to sign a few sheets of paper before they can be on their way. However, divorce involves a very in-depth and emotional process. As a result, anyone considering divorce should follow this checklist as they prepare to move on:

  • Consult with an experienced lawyer before you or your spouse files
  • Take care of yourself (divorce can be emotionally and psychologically draining)
  • Open your own bank accounts to begin your own savings
  • Gather financial and real estate documents
  • Check insurance documents and make as needed changes to beneficiaries
  • Set a budget for yourself
  • Determine living arrangements for during and after the divorce process
  • Consider revising your will or other estate planning documents

Your divorce attorney will be able to provide a more personalized plan moving forward, so speak with your local Texas family law attorney to discuss your options.