Now is the Winter of Our Discontent

Now is the winter of our discontent was a line penned by Shakespeare and spoken by Richard III to open the play of the same name. Though he was speaking of his good fortune, for many married couples winter is the season of their marital discontent and the time to file for a divorce. The number of divorce filings is normally high from January to March.

Why is this supposedly happy holiday period the launching pad for many divorces?  Spouses may decide to have one last holiday season together or the stress of a bad relationship along with being surrounded by family members during the holidays may be the straw breaking the camel’s back.  If children are involved, delaying the filing to January allows children to have one last Christmas with married parents. January is the busiest month for bankruptcy filings, evidence of the financial problems that frequently break up couples. In addition, an unappreciated spouse suffering through another Valentine’s Day may have decided he or she has had enough.
Filing after New Year’s Day can have some financial benefits.  For example, one spouse may be due an end-of-the-year bonus from work, money the other spouse can add to the overall financial picture.  Also, for tax purposes the couple’s finances would be fixed for the entire preceding 12 months. This makes the division of assets much easier to calculate once the divorce process begins.

February is usually the high point in divorce filings, according to CNN. They report a study of divorce filings in New York, Illinois and California which found that February is the busiest month of the year for divorce filings as numbers are usually up about 18% from the average month at this time each year. 

A divorce may come as a surprise to a spouse, no matter when it’s filed. If that happens to you: 

• Control your emotions and maintain an even temper;
• Don’t blow up in a rage and say or do something you will regret;
• Stay cool, calm and collected; and 
• Start making your own divorce preparations.

If you are not the one in control, or do not have a good understanding, of your family’s finances, start obtaining files and information that can give you a grip on your family’s money matters. 

If you live in the Scottsdale, Arizona, area and have decided that 2014 is the last year you want to be married, the attorneys at Nirenstein Garnice can explain divorce law and the process involved in dissolving your marriage. Call us today at (480) 351-4804 or email us for a free, confidential consultation.