Many people think that January is the best time to get a divorce, and I think that’s probably true. During the holidays, people typically choose to stay together. It’s easier on the kids to have a family Christmas, and it certainly avoids awkward explanations or family drama during the “most wonderful time of the year.” It’s also not very fun to go stag to the various holiday parties, either. For better or for worse, most people put their feelings regarding their marriage on the wayside, and just try to keep it together during November and December.
Once the holidays are over, though, all bets are off. The old issues resurface, and women are more willing to think critically about their marriages, their families, and what they want out of life.
January is a great time to file for divorce for a number of reasons:
1. You can get a jump start on your new year’s resolutions. New year, new you, right? A new year does bring the possibility of new beginnings. New Year’s resolutions make us all think critically about our lives, and what we’d like to be different in the future. It’s a great time to make the changes you’ve been wanting to make—when everything seems fresh and new, and your willpower is its strongest.
2. Holiday bonuses and tax refunds. You’ve got a little extra money now, too, right? You got your holiday bonus at work, and maybe even some Christmas money from your parents (in Virginia, that’s a separate asset and not subject to division—it’s all yours!). Even though your holiday bonus is a marital asset (unless you were already separated when you got it), that means his holiday bonus is marital, too! You’re also about to get a tax refund, and all of that money helps make this time of year a little less financially difficult than it feels in December.
3. You’re getting prepared for the next tax year. Most divorces take about a year to complete, so you’re not guaranteeing that you’ll be able to file your taxes separately next year, but by getting started now, you’re giving yourself a good chance. You can work out between yourselves who will get the mortgage interest deduction, and who will claim the children as dependents. It’s a nice way to give yourself an entire year to work out the nitty gritty details, in the hopes that you’ll start 2015 in a totally different place.
There’s no doubt that getting divorced is difficult, no matter what time of year you decide to do it. Still, there are definite advantages associated with filing for divorce in January. If you’re considering filing for divorce in 2014, January is a great time to do it.