Is filing for divorce your New Year’s resolution?
As 2015 draws to a close, many people have made their New Year’s resolutions for 2016. While resolutions related to eating healthier and losing weight probably top the lists of the majority of Americans, filing for divorce may be on the lists of many others.
Divorce attorneys throughout the U.S. report being busier in January that in any other month during the year. For those unhappily wed individuals who struggled to make it through one more holiday season for the sake of their children and families, the start of a new year also presents the opportunity to start fresh in their personal lives.
As with any major life decision, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and to plan as much as possible for what may lay ahead. When it comes to preparing for the divorce process, having a clear understanding of where one stands financially can be a great advantage and benefit.
This includes having a comprehensive list of all marital and individual assets as well as an understanding of the true value of these assets. For example, different types of retirement accounts are taxed differently. Therefore, while two accounts may appear to be similar in value, there may be significant differences in how assets are taxed when taken out of an account. A divorce attorney can provide advice and help in determining the true value of assets, real estate and other possessions.
In addition to preparing for a divorce with regard to financial matters, an individual would also be wise to do his or her best to prepare mentally. Even in cases where an individual wants and files for a divorce, the actual divorce process is still likely to stir up some strong and difficult emotions and feelings. Acknowledging and working through these feelings in a healthy and appropriate way can help ensure that an individual is able to focus on the big picture and achieve his or her divorce goals.
Source: MarketWatch, “Divorcing in 2016? Get your affairs in order first,” Quentin Fottrell, Dec. 12, 2015