January is generally regarded as the busiest of all months for divorce. That is for many reasons, but many couples make the decision many months earlier but try to stay together as a family unit through the holidays. If you are planning to file for divorce in the new year, here are some tips that can help you navigate the process with less stress and financial strain.
1. Gather your year-end financial statements in January: January is the time of year when all of your year-end financial documents begin to roll in ahead of the tax filing deadline. This can be a great time to pull these documents so that you have what you need to consider how to evenly divide your assets, debts and joint property and whether or not you need to consider child support or spousal maintenance. Pulling these year-end documents together can save you a lot of time!
2. Think ahead about your taxes: While you may be separated at the time you file your taxes (April 15th), these taxes are for the year prior. So, it’s likely that your taxes will be linked to your ex for this tax cycle.
3. Consider protecting your finances: When you separate and begin managing your individual finances, you may find that you need to consider opening a new credit card or bank account in your name so that you have a way to establish credit and make purchases that are not connected to your ex.
4. Interview mediators and/or attorneys: You have choices when it comes to how to settle the terms of your divorce. You can hire divorce attorneys and go through the traditional litigation process, or you can consider mediation. The Minnesota courts require you to attempt an alternative dispute resolution technique like mediation, so you could spend time researching local mediators to find someone that could be a good fit for your situation.
5. Practice self-care: The holidays are stressful enough but if you are also preparing yourself and your family for divorce, you want to take time for self-care. That may mean a hike, a massage, a good book, meeting a friend for coffee, or a hot bath or something else that helps you feel comforted. Taking care of yourself during this time will help you navigate the next few months.
Johnson Mediation is available to help you with the divorce process from start to finish. We offer parenting support as well as mediation services (online and in person). If you have questions or would like to learn more, give us a call at 952-401-7599.