Studies have shown that there is a spike in divorce filings at the end of summer and beginning of a new year. Some attribute that to the fact that couples spend more time together in the summer and things can "heat up" when there are existing problems between the couple. However, people don't choose to file until later when the school year begins and their children are back in school. Likewise, traditionally, the December holidays are not a time when people file for divorce. Filings spike when the new year comes around, with new year resolutions and a retrospect of looking back over the past year.
If someone is even thinking about a divorce, they should start to plan and prepare long before they file. Summer is often a good time to have conversations with your attorney, financial advisors, and of course, your family. It is also a good time to make an assessment and get familiar, if you are not already, with what you have - whether it is bank accounts, credit cards, investments or actual physical property - and to have an understanding of your financial circumstances and wherewithal, especially if you are not the spouse that takes care of these items. It is also best to start accumulating copies, while you have access to all the important documents, of tax returns, bank statements, credit cards and retirement accounts - not only assets but also liabilities, to understand the financial health of your relationship and how you will be able to proceed moving forward.
Summer is also a good time to reflect, if you are considering a divorce, what you are really looking for moving forward...whether divorce is right for you now and what do you want your family to look like in the next five years. Family counseling or coupling counseling may also be appropriate. If you feel there is trouble brewing but not sure the direction you want to take. Having outside help, when something as emotionally and traumatic as problems in a marriage can be, it is important to get perspective of what is really happening and examine what your real feelings and needs are. It may also give the opportunity, if done early enough, to resolve problems before they arrive at a breaking point.
Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY & Divorce Magazine