Divorces can happen at any time of the year. But there are certain times that typically see spikes in divorce filings. The month of January is one of these times.
Why might divorce be on a lot of couple’s minds in January? There are a lot of factors that could be at play in this.
One is the fact that the winter holidays are now in the rearview mirror. Some individuals who have decided that a divorce is the right step to take opt to hold off on pursuing a divorce until after the holidays are over. Also, the holidays can be stressful, and sometimes such stress could have the potential to push a relationship past the breaking point. Also, sometimes, the end of the holiday season sees relationship problems that were masked by the joy of the holidays come back into full view.
Additionally, the start of a new year is commonly a time of reflection. Some married couples may decide after reflecting on the current state of their marriage that things are no longer working and that a divorce is the best way to proceed.
When it comes to the timing of starting a divorce, there can be a lot of factors to consider. This not only includes factors connected to the relationship and the couple, but also legal factors.
For example, here in North Carolina, there are some rules regarding when certain claims can be filed for.
Spouses can file claims for divorce from bed and board, custody, child support, and post separation support while they still live together. When possible, it is usually better for spouses to be separated before any divorce-related claims are filed for, but there are limited situations when this may be necessary. In order to file claims for property division or alimony, spouses must be physically separated, meaning they are not living in the same residence. Other domestic claims (child custody, child support, etc.) can also be filed for at this time. To file for an absolute divorce, a couple has to have lived apart from each other for at least a year. Also, at least one of the spouses has to have been living in North Carolina for at least the past six months. Property division and alimony claims must be pending at the time of divorce or they are waived.
Whatever time of the year a person decides that pursuing a divorce is the right move for him or her, it can be important for him or her to get guidance on what divorce laws apply and what preparations can be made to safeguard his or her rights during the divorce process.