Turning Over a New Leaf in the New Year

It is often said that January is known as "Divorce Month" because couples typically wait until after the holidays to file for divorce. Then, with the New Year approaching, people make resolutions for fresh starts and changes they want made. Often times, this can include a divorce. If a New Year's resolution includes filing for divorce, there are several things you can do to prepare.

First, and most importantly, it is imperative to consider what is in the best interest of the children. This includes considering what time of parenting time schedule you will be seeking, and what you believe your spouse will be seeking. It is also important to consider legal custody, that being the decision making authority for the child's health, education, and welfare.

Next, make sure all finances are in order. This includes having copies of all tax returns, W-2s, retirement account statements, and bank statements. In New Jersey, the date the Complaint for Divorce is filed is considered the end date of the marriage, and therefore it is helpful to have all documentation as close to that date as possible. Another consideration is the division of assets. This includes not only bank accounts, but debts, retirement accounts, and the marital home.

Moreover, once parties are divorced, they can file their taxes separately for the entire year. It should be noted that although a Complaint for Divorce is filed, parties can still file married if their divorce has not been finalized.

With a New Year, comes new possibilities, which includes filing for divorce if that is what a litigant seeks. However, it is important to plan for this change in the New Year.

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