January: The #1 Month of the Year for Divorce

January is statistically the coldest month of the year in Wisconsin. And it appears that icy grip also extends to divorce court.

Long-Emily“I think winters are hard on people and holidays are stressful,” said experienced Weld Riley, S.C. family attorney Emily Long. “But, I have had a number of clients tell me they just wanted to get through the holidays. I think people don’t want the holidays associated with their divorce. Once they are through the festivities, reality sets back in and they file.”

According to eDivorcePapers.com, January has the most legal breakups during the year. But Long has some tips to help families through the pain of matrimonial breakups.

1.  Learn as much about your finances as you can.
People frequently have divisions of labor which includes one party being responsible for paying the bills and maintaining the bank accounts. Clients often come in with no idea as to their financial circumstances.  This makes it very difficult to determine the best course of action, at least initially.

2.  Have a short-term plan in mind.
Most people do not want to live together while a divorce is pending. People should have an idea as to where they will be able to live temporarily and how they will pay for it.

3.  Have a long-term plan in mind.
This, of course, can change throughout the process, but it is a good idea to have a general idea of your eventual goal. Do you want to stay in the area? Do you want go back to school? What financial needs will you have?

4.  Keep logs of who cares for the children.
If one parent is primarily responsible for the care of the children, the court will want to know that. As parents, we do a lot for our kids, especially the younger ones. We do so much, we often do not recognize all that we do.  Keeping logs helps remind us and provides us with useful information for the court process.

5.  If you are in danger, leave, even if it terrifies you.
The idea of jumping without a net can paralyze people. However, there are numerous programs that will help. The Chippewa Valley has several shelters and domestic abuse programs. While it may not be someone’s first choice, it is far better to be alive and safe.

Long said, “In general, I think people enter into a marriage with the idea it will be for a lifetime. With that we have some certainty, regardless of what else is going on in our lives. When we are faced with divorce, our entire life plan changes.”

Weld Riley, S.C. has offices in Eau Claire, Black River Falls and Menomonie and serves both families, private sector businesses and public sector clients, including school districts, county governments and many municipalities around western Wisconsin.