January has been nicknamed Divorce Month by divorce and family law attorneys because so many relationships seem to fall apart with the new year, and family law attorneys see an uptick in calls every year. According to Google Trends, online searches for the phrase, ‘I want a divorce’ rose by over 230% in the first week of January 2021. But why is that? What is it about January that makes so many people decide it’s time to call it quits on their relationship? Is January really Divorce Month in Georgia?
Get a Divorce is #1 on many New Year Resolutions lists. The stress of the holidays makes some people realize that it’s just the final straw after so many other relationship problems. They realize that they aren’t happy and haven’t been for some time and now that things are back to normal, they just want to get out. Or people knew that they wanted to end their marriage before the holidays but decided to wait until after the holidays were over to make memories for the rest of the family and the kids.
No matter the reason, statistics show that approximately 40-50% of all U.S. marriages will end in divorce. Georgia has one of the highest divorce rates compared to other states, and only 6 states have more divorces than The Peach State. In fact, marriage and divorce rates overall have been declining, and U.S. divorce rates declined even more since 2019 due to the Covid effect.
The Covid Effect
Covid had a negative impact on many marriages due to financial stress, parenting issues and the quarantines. Divorce courts were closed or backlogged for much of 2020 and 2021, which means divorce cases took longer to close, and many couples delayed filing for divorce due to the pandemic. In addition, many couples were forced to quarantine together and realized they don't want to spend more time with that person in the future. Now that the court backlog is ending, we expect to see couples who delayed their divorce due to Covid filing for divorce in 2022.
The first Monday back at work after the holidays is often called Divorce Day because divorce lawyers receive so many calls. Is January really divorce month? The reality is March and August are actually the most popular months to file for divorce. If you are unhappy in your marriage and are considering divorce in Georgia, your next question is, What should I do next?
What if you’re thinking about divorce for yourself? If you're considering filing for divorce in January or any other month, you should take some steps to make sure you’re fully prepared.
1. Speak with a divorce or relationship specialist.
An outside expert opinion (not well-meaning family or friends) will help you evaluate what’s going on in your relationship and what’s leading you to want a divorce. Is it really a breakdown of the relationship or are you experiencing some backlash from the holidays and some stress as you head into the 3rd year of a global pandemic?
2. List out what you want to get from your divorce.
It’s important to think about your personal goals for the end of your marriage, including child custody, child support, division of assets, finances, timelines and more. This will help you be fully prepared for the process you are about to undertake and what you want to tell your lawyer.
3. Gather your financial documents.
Finances are a huge part of the divorce process and it’s essential that you understand what the financial situation is for you and your partner as a married couple and as divorced individuals. Gathering all of your documents including tax returns, pay stubs and debt such as loans, credit cards or mortgages will help your lawyer to create a path forward for the dissolution of your marriage.
If you’re thinking about divorce, no matter what time of year it is you need to discuss your situation with an experienced divorce and family law attorney who can help you get the outcome you’re looking for. It’s not just about a legal dissolution of your marriage - it’s also about protecting yourself and your family in the future, the division of everything that you own and making sure that you walk away from the relationship with what you deserve.
If you live in Gwinnett County or the surrounding areas, call Divorce and Family Law Attorney Sharon Jackson. As an experienced Family Law attorney, she protects your legal rights and your family’s future. Call Attorney Jackson today at (678) 436-3636 to schedule a consultation or book an online appointment.
Attorney Sharon Jackson LLC
175 Langley Drive, Suite A1
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Phone: (678) 909-4100
Fax: (678) 281-0482