Heymann & Fletcher

Attorneys prepare for divorce spike in the New Year

Now that the Christmas decorations have all been taken down and put away for the year, many New Jersey residents are preparing for 2017. Part of that process often includes filing for divorce, which is at the top of many people's New Year's resolutions. Attorneys report that the first few weeks of the year are a busy time; some even refer to those weeks as "divorce season."

There are a number of reasons why people choose to file in the early days of a new year. For many, announcing a divorce seems like a bad way to enter the holiday season. Others want to give their marriage one last chance, and hope that the family time that the holidays provide will renew the marriage. But many people have a far more pragmatic reason to file in the weeks after the holidays.

To begin, lots of people get a holiday bonus from their employer, or receive a performance bonus at the end of the year. Those funds become part of the property division process if they are earned prior to a divorce filing. Generally speaking, money earned by either party after a separation begins is considered separate.

For those in New Jersey who have "file for divorce" on their list of New Year's resolutions, it is essential to prepare for that action. By working with a divorce attorney to create a plan of attack, the entire process can be made simpler. Gathering documents, creating a negotiation strategy and determining a post-divorce budget are all excellent ways to prepare to file, now or at any time of the year.

Source: gazettextra.com, "After the holidays, 'Divorce Day' looms", Danielle Braff, Dec. 24, 2016

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