Divorce is, historically speaking, one of the busiest months of the year for divorce. For the most part, November and December are generally the slowest; after all, who wants to get divorced during the holidays?
It’s not so much that I think divorce is somehow tied to a new year’s resolution – though it certainly could be – it’s mostly just that nothing much happens around the Thanksgiving/Christmas/holiday season excitement. Between work holiday parties, Christmas programs and dress up days at the kids’ schools, and everything else going on, it can feel difficult to actually accomplish any kind of business. (Does anyone accomplish anything between November and December? It sure doesn’t feel that way.)
Now that we’re back in the swing of things, though, it’s only natural that the things that were sort of left off of the to do list back in November move back up in the list of priorities. And, besides all that, maybe the holidays were truly horrible. Have you seen all those reels on TikTok? About husbands who left their wives’ stockings empty? About how dads behave on Christmas morning (overawed, because they didn’t participate in the planning, purchasing, or wrapping)? There are a million different examples of things that, in my opinion, represent something pretty close to grounds for divorce!
Look, obviously, you don’t divorce a man because he left your stocking empty. It’s not about the empty stocking. It’s about the fact that this – and a million other little things – signify to you that your husband doesn’t respect you or think about you. It’s one of those things that are not the disease, but still represent a symptom. Maybe not the most important symptom, either, but, as you come off the holidays, maybe one of the most immediate or the most infuriating or the most deeply hurtful.
So, what are your first steps?
Divorce is a big deal, so there’s no need to jump in headfirst. You can dip your toe in and test the waters before you take any huge steps.
One of the things about divorce is that it varies dramatically from state to state so, if you’ve never been divorced before or if you’re new to Virginia, you will have a lot to learn. Anything that you might have heard about divorce in a different state or from watching TV or movies is probably not going to be accurate.
It is important to know what your rights and entitlements are under the law before you get too far along in the process. I find that many women are tempted to talk to their husbands about divorce before they talk to attorneys, in some cases even agreeing to a specific division of the assets that sounds fair to them.
Though settlement discussions are not binding and are not admissible in court, if you have to go that route, reaching and reneging on an agreement can make your negotiations with your husband more (rather than less) expensive. Not only that, but if you DID sign something – even something that doesn’t look all that formal or legal – you may find that you are bound to it.
It’s really better to hold off even having a discussion until you’re aware of what you would be entitled to receive under the law. Otherwise, you risk having a conversation without enough knowledge to support it. Besides, getting up to date, Virginia specific information about the divorce and custody process doesn’t have to be overwhelming!
Request a copy of our divorce book for Virginia women.
We have four free books on divorce and custody – divorce, military divorce, custody, and choosing a lawyer. You’re welcome to get one, or as many as you’d like. (Though, if you are military, you don’t need both the regular and the military divorce book; just get the military one.) They’re free and, when you request one, we’ll immediately send you a high quality ebook version. Should you wish to receive a hard copy, we’ll also send you information via email about how to claim your copy.
We send all our physical books to the spouse-safe address you provide in plain packaging that doesn’t reveal the contents – not even your mailman will know what’s inside. If you’re concerned about your husband finding it or opening your mail, you could even have it sent to a friend or family member’s address, or even your work. (Again, no one else will know what’s inside!)
Attend a monthly divorce seminar.
After you’ve had a chance to read the book (or before, if you’re ready to go), you can sign up to attend one of our monthly divorce seminars. We offer them at three convenient times per month, and each seminar is taught live (on Zoom) by one of our licensed and experienced Virginia divorce and custody attorneys. You can even ask your questions live (though anonymously) during the seminar, all for less than the cost of an hour with a moderately priced local attorney.
It’s important to know what you’re doing before you get too far down the road. After all, I’ve seen women agree to accept less than what their husband’s attorney would even think to suggest! Our tendency, I am sorry to say, is to sell ourselves short; don’t fall into that trap. Life is long, and that’s especially true if you don’t have what you need to support yourself.
For more information, to request a free copy of our book for Virginia women, or to register to attend an upcoming monthly divorce seminar, give our office a call at 757-425-5200.