Some say that January is Divorce Month – but is this really true? Like many things, it all depends on how you look at it.
Professionals who offer services related to divorce such as family law lawyers, psychologists, marriage & family therapists and other therapeutic professionals, and those offering financial services related to separation and divorce, often notice that January is a very busy time. Once the winter holiday is done and children are back to school, phones are ringing off the hook (or our inbox is full to the brim) for many of us.
At the same time, court filings do not increase in January, at least in my neighborhood. Equally, demographic information does not suggest any more completed divorces in January than any other month of the year.
So what is this about?
Some suggest that the reality of January hits home and has a very negative impact on many marriages. This follows the idea that January is the Monday of the year; the reality of life kicks in again once the holiday glow has died down. However, I don’t really think this is the case.
For most spouses, the decision to separate is not sudden but rather builds over several years. Parents often agonize for a long time as they are aware of the changes this will mean for their children.
I my experience of 20 plus years of working with separating families, I see more that most parents are trying to protect their children’s experience of Christmas. This seems to begin somewhere in the beginning of November. Decision making about separating households goes on hold; most loving conscientious parents put their feelings aside as much as possible in order to give their children the best Christmas possible while still altogether under the same roof.
This can be very challenging. Parents in the process of separating, even if the children don’t yet know, are going through their own grief, loss, and any number of other emotions.
And yet, many parents do a very good job of keeping the focus on the children at Christmas. In some ways, this can be easier than the hard work that separating parents need to do in order to complete the tasks of their separation. It some ways, focusing on parenting can provide a bit of a refuge for parents who are still sharing the same household.
Come January, there is often a back log of all of the separation processes that would ordinarily have begun in November or December. These spouses want to get going and so professionals who deal with these matters find themselves very busy. In this way, January becomes almost 3 months in one.
If you, or someone you know is contemplating separation, the Divorce Self Evaluation Survey (DSS) can help. I designed the DSS to help you find answers to questions like:
“Do we have to have lawyers? What if we want to do it ourselves?
“What about Mediation? Could that work for us?”
“How can I best help and protect my kids?”
“How can I get legal help without starting a fight?”
“I don’t trust my spouse at all. What should I do?”
—and to ensure that you understand the processes and options available to you, ultimately helping you become an informed consumer of separation/divorce services.
How the DSS Works and What You Learn
You’ll take 15 to 20 minutes to complete a confidential survey. Your unique situation will then be evaluated based on eight essential elements used by professionals. Almost instantly, you will receive a comprehensive report that identifies which divorce options will likely be a match with you.
After completing your survey, you will receive:
- A unique DSS score
- A comprehensive report describing the divorce options that match your score
- A detailed description of how each option works
- Clear suggestions for moving through the process well
- An extensive resource list including publications and online information and services
- Tips on how to find services near you.
If this January really is Divorce Month for you, I hope the DSS can take some of the fear, confusion and mystery out of the process and help you be a more informed consumer of divorce services. I wish you all the best through this process.