Birmingham Divorce Filing Up Each January

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Jan 09, 2014 | 0 Comments

New year. New outlook. New life.

January is one of the most popular months for those filing for divorce in Birmingham.

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Of course, there is no “good time” to end a marriage. No matter what time of year you file, you are likely to find yourself overwhelmed with heavy feelings of guilt and sadness and perhaps some confusion about how to handle your new financial landscape. But many people also report feeling an immense sense of relief after filing, and if you're going to do it, there are many reasons why January is a better time than most.

The first and most obvious reason has to do with the simple fact that few couples want to spoil the holidays. It's true that it usually doesn't make much of a difference if you spend one last Thanksgiving or Hannukah or New Year celebration together. Your union may have been over for some time now, and perhaps you both know it. But telling the children that their lives are about to change drastically and perhaps painfully just doesn't seem right while you're putting up the tree.

Plus, some couples decide around the holidays that they're going to give it one last try. After all, few people want to be alone on Christmas. But they may find that the stress of the season serves only to push them closer to the breaking point. It can reaffirm the earlier decision to part ways.

There are also some other, more practical, reasons to file in January. Many workers receive a year-end bonus from their work. In some cases, these bonuses can be substantial. This is relevant for two reasons. First, if you are the one receiving this bonus, you can use it to cover the expenses that will inevitably arise. This will include the cost of filing, the cost for an attorney, a down payment or security deposit on another dwelling, etc. Downsizing from a two-income household to a one-income household can be costly, and you want to be prepared for that.

Alternatively, if your spouse is the one receiving a sizable bonus, waiting until after that check is received to file could likely mean that you will be entitled to a portion of that money because it will be deemed a marital asset.

Another reason has to do with holiday spending. We all know that during any holiday season, there is a temptation to run up credit card debts and drain bank accounts. However, if you announce prior to January that you plan to divorce, you risk the possibility that your spouse may be more inclined to splurge on a big-ticket item out of revenge.

Finally, one of the most important reasons why a January filing makes sense is taxes. While many couples will usually file their taxes jointly until the divorce is completed, most marriages can be dissolved in the course of a year. But starting the process in January provides a clear picture of the finances from year-to-year, making the tax considerations a bit simpler.

Taking tax implications into account throughout the divorce process is one of the many ways in which an experienced family law team can help you in this difficult time.

If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

Additional Resources:

Considering divorce? Good Reasons to wait for January, Dec. 21, 2012, By Geoff Williams, Reuters

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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